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VOL. XXIV NO. 17, December 16-31, 2014
Our Readers write

Must TV serials be so crude?

As usual MMM has hit the nail on the head with his short 'N' Snappy take on TV-serials (MM, November 16th)

Fully agreeing with him on the ridiculous and wholly farcical ICU scenes, I also would like to comment on the crass and vulgar aspects of almost all serials aired on various channels.

The crudest aspect is the undignified portrayal of women. I am amazed that no women’s groups have taken this up and protested; probably they enjoy these scenes themselves.

Scenes where women are kicked, beaten, dragged by the hair and abused profanely are common. Equally common is women being portrayed as cunning, scheming, wicked and evil... be she a mother-in-law or a daughter-in-law or a sister-in-law. There also seems to be no such creature as a slim and svelte mother-in-law in these serials.

The background music is a torture to the ears ... there is scarcely a single dialogue between characters without an insane drummer banging away and screeching violins (keyboards?). Also the yodelling voices in the top keys of the human vocal cord are another torture.

I can’t imagine scenes where the household affairs and vociferous arguments between its members are required to be accompanied by jarring background music.

All this mayhem is watched in households in flats and small houses across the State where the TV is generally the centrepiece of the common living area and hence watched by all the family members, including young susceptible children whose minds will definitely be affected by such crude scenes and dialogues.

With a misguided objective of appealing to women viewers in particular, all women charters are made to weep and sob at the drop of a hat and beat their breasts in sorrow... most reprehensible to watch in the evening when all one wants is a little relaxation after the cares of the day.

I regularly watch an English serial about a Doctor in a hospital called House M D. I am no fanatic of English serials, but this must be watched for the sheer professional and authentic manner in which this has been shot… aesthetically probably the best serial so far seen by me.

The role of Dr. Gregory, House M.D., is played by Hugh Laurie perfectly... he also has portrayed Wodehouse’s Bertie Wooster earlier.

It is a puzzle to me that such an advanced society as ours seems to enjoy the bizarre scenes in our local language serials. Do we really like all this crudity?

62/1, Tamarai Flats, M E S Road
East Tambaram,
Chennai 600 059

Mongoose Encounters

I read with interest Ahana Lakshmi’s article on mongoose (MM, October 16th) because of my own encounters with this interesting animal.

When my wife and I were living in a colony of bungalows in Mehsana, Gujarat, there was fairly good vegetation in the colony although it was certainly an urban setting. We often found the milk in the vessel disappearing, without even a drop left in it. In time, we discovered it was the work of a mongoose and not a cat!

Our second enounter – it was a real encounter – was in the house of the French Consul-General in Pondichery in the late 1960s. When we visited them once, two or three mongoose appeared in the drawing room and rolled over much to our consternation. The Consul-General and his wife assured us they were pets and not to worry!

As the pet-dogs do, they also smelled us and disappeared. But that was the first time I realised that mongoose could also be pets. The French couple also told us that they were afraid of snakes and had been keeping the mongoose. But I told them that at the place they were living in by the beach, there were no real snakes, but only a lot of human snakes!

Dr. G. Sundaram (ias, rtd)
Keshav Perumal Puram
Greenways Road
Chennai 600 028


The reference to Enfield India (MM, October 1st) reminded me of the Company’s scooter ‘Fantabulus’ which was popular in the late 1960s in Bhilai Steel township. Many owners were enamoured with the unique features of the two-wheeler: a sturdy design (118 kg), with a self-starter mechanism (a forerunner of all present-day scooties), a four gear leg-operated system, instead of normal three gears, and clutch handle bar design.

However, due to low fuel efficiency and high operational and maintenance costs, the vehicle went into oblivion within a decade of introduction.

It was a sad failure of an in-house design by a renowned company.

Bhilai Gopalan
1/6, Sankara Flats
1, 6th Cross Street
Shasthri Nagar, Adyar
Chennai 600 020

The printer’s devil

A printer’s devil (MM, November 16th) is really an apprentice in a printing shop.

In England, in the good old days, when he had to perform all sorts of jobs in the shop, there was a superstitious professional belief in the printing industry that an evil devil interfered with good printing work and created slips in spelling just for fun. To rationalise this, the assistant was blamed and vilified as a printer’s devil!

N. Dharmeshwaran
Plot 21
Kumaran Nagar
Guduvancherry 603 202

Editor’s Note: As we have stated before, such slips should not be called ‘printer’s devils’ but should be indicated as the work of a printer’s devil.

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In this issue

Are we waiting for their collapse?
Madras Landmarks - 50 years ago
Crowd-funding to support social causes?
Deja vu!
Sowing the seeds of freedom
Laurence Hope – A life of mystery
The Red Hills Railway
A 2500-year-old 'industrial estate'

Our Regulars

Short 'N' Snappy
Readers Write
Dates for your Diary


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