The same old tunes in this tribute to a great musician
While one admires Satish Chopra's passion for KL Saigal (Striking the right note, January 18), one would have appreciated some new findings about India's first singer-actor superstar. Chopra has just rehashed what has been written about him a thousand times and is known to everybody, even some of these accounts have not been corroborated.
Very few people know why Saigal shifted to Mumbai at the end of 1941, and lost his golden voice to the lure of gold (he was charging Rs 1 lakh per movie in Bombay in the 40s as compared to the peanuts he was earning in Calcutta). Also, he was suffering from sciatica more than his diabetes. To overcome the pain from it, Saigal used to consume small doses of whisky intermittently in the absence of proper medication in those days. Chopra also wrongly attributes two of Saigal's most famous songs 'Matwale pane se jo ghata jhoom padi hai' and 'Ay katibe taqdir mujhe itna bataa de' to Seemab Akbarabadi and Ghalib respectively. The first song was written by Arzoo Lucknowi, the second by Pandit Bhushan for the film My Sister. Also, Chopra should have shown indebtedness to writers such as Kidar Sharma and Pran Neville from whose books a couple of the incidents cited in the piece have been lifted.
Devendra Mohan, Mumbai
Create a creative spirit
With reference to Priyamvada Natarajan's article It is elementary (January 16), the author correctly says that we need to teach students to think creatively and independently. These days, children are always under pressure to do well at home as well as in schools. But by doing so, we are forcing every child to follow the same path and in the process are losing many creative minds. To make them think differently, parents also have to reorient themselves.
Jaisika Goel, via email