Letters | Apr 07, 2003
  • Non-Plussed Yes, But a Minus, No
    Apr 07, 2003

    True cricket lovers are few and far between (Hooked!, March 24). Dumb belles, society matrons out to make a quick buck, corporate bigwigs who want to see and be seen in the hospitality boxes, this is the rabble which infests cricket now.
    Jay Amrith, Singapore

    Is set max under some kind of mental delusion? Their ratings are up not because of Mandira Bedi’s plunging neckline (that’s all the expert view we get), but because of the cricket. Despite their effort to have female representation, all they ended up doing was to reinforce the usual stereotypes, roping in feather-brained women on an ‘expert’ panel. Was Mandira there for her cricketing knowledge or for decorative purposes? My trps say it’s the latter.
    Astra Pai, Delhi

    Love her or hate her, but you just can’t ignore Mandira Bedi. Reasons be damned, she has managed to grab the attention of all and sundry. Her cricketing knowledge (or the lack of it), her clothes (or the lack of them) and her theatrics have given her more than her share of newsprint.
    Ishtyaque Ansari, Bharuch

    Seeing Mandira on Extraa Innings, my five-year-old son curiously asked my wife: "Can you wear a saree without a blouse?" I wish there was a dress code for "expert commentators", at least for a gentleman’s game.
    Jacob Thomas, Chennai

    Few covers of Outlook have looked as good as the one that had Mandira on it. Her lovely smile was as much of a sizzler as a Sachin six or a Lee thunderbolt. There have been negative reactions to her being on the "expert panel" but what is wrong with a beautiful woman talking cricket? If her knowledge of cricket is poor, are others on the panel any better? Rather than have the pathetic Charu & Co, a Laloo Prasad Yadav could have made things infinitely livelier. Mandira’s ramblings on cricket pale in comparison to what comes out of the mouth of Kris Srikkanth, whose commentary is the worst thing to have happened to Indian cricket.
    T.S. Pattabhi Raman, Coimbatore

    Mandira on the cover! She has come a long way since our very own, old and ageing Doordarshan introduced her as Shanti in Shanti. True, she knows nothing of cricket, so much so that she thinks ‘scoreboard’ to be a technical term. And there certainly are better-looking women around, if it’s about beauty. What then makes Mandira the craze of the nation? I think it’s all about the right spices, in the right proportion and in the right dish. And Mandira is the right chaat masala to sweep cricket fans off their feet.
    Ranjeeb Sharma, on e-mail

    The main picture in your inside cover story shows some young girls drinking beer and cheering at tgif but none of the men are even reacting. That’s because they are watching cricket and not posing for a photograph. Anyway the match in progress was the India-Kenya one and not Sachin celebrating a Vaas catch. The next time you pay models to pose for a photograph, please darken the background, otherwise...pardon, your slip will be showing.
    Aditya Arun Kutty, Noida, UP

    Did the women watching cricket in your inside cover picture have esp that they could see the India-Sri Lanka match before it happened?
    Deepak Aggarwal, New Delhi

    Doesn’t it ever embarrass you that you keep making up excuses to put cricket on the cover? The latest gag is Ladies First! It just shows why all your election surveys are—without fail—wrong. It’s because you keep cooking up figures in your fancy office. Forty-six per cent indeed! What new googly will you conjure up next?
    Sangeeta Rasaily, Dehradun

    So another World Cup is over and the best men have won. But looking back at the tournament, I felt that cricket is no more a gentleman’s game but becoming one like American football or British soccer. Gone are the days when the brilliant strokes from Bradman and Sobers were acknowledged with genuine sincerity from the opposition. The crowd acknowledged every win—irrespective of the nationality—with resounding applause. Instead, in this World Cup we saw Shahid Afridi’s gesticulatory remarks to Kaif to take an attempted run or Brett Lee showing his tongue after taking the ninth wicket against New Zealand. Sachin and Sehwag may be scaling new heights in their game, but cricket, unfortunately, is dead.
    Aaron Mohanty, on e-mail

  • Same Difference
    Apr 07, 2003

    How is Bush’s attack on Iraq different from bin Laden’s on the wtc (Lonely Stretch, March 24)? He did it imagining the US was a threat to the world. Now, Bush is doing it imagining Iraq is a threat to the world. Would the ‘shock’ expressed by so many nations have been so mild had the US not been so economically strong? Alas, it doesn’t matter what right or wrong is. All that matters is which side of the fence you are on.
    Vijayender Chaudhury, Hyderabad

    It’s very easy to prevent an unjust war on Iraq. Just tell 10,000 Americans to go and settle in Baghdad and the US will never ever bomb Iraq. It never likes to lose one American life in war.
    Vijay Venkateswar, Calcutta

    I agree that the US is waging a war for oil and personal reasons. But what about Saddam? What about his mass murders of innocent Iraqis and rapes by his sons and police? Saddam is a psychopath and has to be removed. Whatever its intention, the US is doing the right thing.
    Priya Dixit, Salem

    Bush must be the only president in world history to have told the president of another country to leave his home in 48 hours or face war!
    A. Srikantaiah, Bangalore

  • Passing Thought
    Apr 07, 2003

    Sandipan Deb’s Delhi Diary (March 24) set me thinking. India did reach the finals but what would have happened had India lost to Kenya in the semi-finals? Would they have burnt down Sandeep Patil’s house in Mumbai?
    Apurva Madia, Ahmedabad

  • Minding the Minds
    Apr 07, 2003

    As a child, I studied in a Protestant Christian convent school where my Hindu way of life was constantly maligned casually and there was a steady effort to impress upon young minds the virtues of Christianity (Sediments of Faith, March 24). I have sat in numerous classes where a particular teacher would talk for some half hour denigrating Hinduism and treating my gods as a joke. I sat through all this without it ever crossing my mind that this lady was misusing her right to freedom of speech and religion. Secularism doesn’t have to be only for the majority, it has to be for the minorities too. There is really more tolerance in India than anywhere else in the world. I can’t, for instance, see anyone maligning the American way of life and getting away with it.
    Madan, Orlando, US

  • Optimist(aken)
    Apr 07, 2003

    Prem Shankar Jha is an optimist at heart (This Silence is a Scream, March 24). The killing of innocent civilians in Mumbai and now in Kashmir by Pakistani agencies is clear proof of why peace does not stand a chance. We have to hit terrorist camps in PoK and Pakistan to blunt this menace once and for all.
    T. Ram, Singapore

  • Hypocritically Speaking
    Apr 07, 2003

    Your hypocrisy and double standards lie exposed in your explanations for the bjp’s victory or loss in state elections. In his column A Sign from the Hills (March 17), Prem Shankar Jha says the Gujarat victory and the Himachal loss were both a result of hate-filled Hindutva. But "if bjp wins in Delhi, Rajasthan and MP, as it is likely, it owes it to anti-incumbency factors and not Hindutva". Then in the article Exeunt, Followed by Modi, you judge the Himachal results as the victory of a "mature, peace-loving electorate". What does it say about the electorate in Gujarat, Delhi, Rajasthan and MP?
    Ashok Gupta, New Delhi

    Lots has been read into the failure of the BJP in the Himachal assembly elections and their stupendous win in Gujarat. The factor that separated Gujarat and HP, as I see it, lies in the opposition—the lack of strong opposition parties in Gujarat and the presence of a strong one in HP. In a democratic set-up, the lack of an alternative always works in favour of the ruling party and that’s what happened in Gujarat.
    Vudatala Raja, Calcutta

  • Hold That Black Tongue
    Apr 07, 2003

    Professor Robert D. Blackwill, the US ambassador here, is a friend of India. He is also a respected academician who, prior to his current assignment, was teaching at the Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School. It is therefore unfortunate that Outlook should choose to attack the personal integrity of such a person by printing sensational but irresponsible headlines like "Blackwill is a liar, a big liar" (March 24). Even if the words were uttered by the now former Iraqi ambassador to India, Salah al-Mukhtar, you have no business sensationalising his comments and putting them in the headline. Not only that, Mukhtar has made quite a few personal remarks on Blackwill, like, "He should keep his mouth shut. His is the classical, typical American arrogance." Surely you could have exercised some editorial restraint before printing such vituperative language.
    A.K. Aggarwal, Ahmedabad

  • All About the Money
    Apr 07, 2003

    Contrary to what you think, it’s not 9/11 or the liberal immigration regime that are causing the current anti-India sentiment (Weblog: Spam in the Mail, March 24). In the US, it’s mostly because of mass layoffs in the technology sector. Americans or their companies do not see Indians as a threat to security but definitely perceive them as a threat to their jobs. Whatever their lobbying may achieve, there is one thing that will not change: the cheap cost of labour India offers. Indian techies are known for their high quality of expertise at low prices. The only thing of concern is the abuse of visa categories which certain Indian IT companies are indulging in. That may have to be corrected sooner or later.
    T. Anand, Charlotte, US

  • Stone Serif, In Font Rememberance
    Apr 07, 2003

    Your efforts to improve the looks of Outlook are appreciable. May I request you to keep the interest of people like me with deteriorating eyesight in mind. Do not give a dark background to text in boxes. The new font selected is very good and clear but could you consider increasing its size by 0.5?
    Jack Braganza, Mumbai

    Who cares if your new font is News 14 at 8.5 or Gill Sans? I don’t like the new look at all.
    Mohammad Yunus, on e-mail

    Though your description of the different fonts used by you was indeed gobbledegook, the change is welcome and will be a lot easy on the eye. Don’t let comparisons with other publications deter you and force you into a rollback a la Yashwant Sinha.
    Hemant Kapre, on e-mail

    I’m thoroughly disappointed with the changed Outlook. The font reminds me of the one used by The Economic and Political Weekly. You did not seek help from the design studios of New York, but had no qualms about engaging a British agency. Change, for the heck of it, is not always a good thing. A magazine like Outlook, which was very impressive in its appearance, did not deserve this kind of unimaginative makeover. Nor did we this shock.
    Sindhu Sameer, Mumbai

    As a graphic designer, I’m disappointed with your redesign. Maybe I’ll get used to it. But here are a few things you could do to help make it look better. First, the interline space is equal throughout the page and there’s not much difference between two paras. Second, the font you’ve selected after much research does not look good, especially in italics. Third, when the text is placed on colour backgrounds, it’s hard to read as it isn’t thick or dark enough. Fourth, you could do away with the three lines on top and replace it with one thick line as you used to earlier. This one looks gimmicky.
    Arvind, on e-mail

    Why, Outlook? What was wrong with the earlier design that it had to be replaced with something that is not even half as good? The new typeface makes your youthful magazine look old and staid.
    Rajat Mehrotra, on e-mail

    Your new design sucks. If this is the result of a one-year endeavour, then it doesn’t speak too well of your design team. Vinod Mehta’s letter to the readers reads like a tutorial in print technology. The font business is gobbledegook and Outlook is not easier to read. It’s nice to know that you remain committed to the written word, but the font change makes it tough to read those words.
    Anasuya Mohanty, on e-mail

    The redesigned Outlook is simply beautiful. The pages have become brighter and the reading easier and comfortable.
    M.A. Ahad, Bhubaneshwar

    If it took you "almost a year" to finalise this "new look", you should have perhaps taken help from New Guinea after all.
    Vijay Kapur, Calcutta

    Your visual quality was one of the most important reasons for your success. With the new design you’ve foisted on the readers, it’s no longer so. The three lines on top of the page look like something out of a cursive handwriting book while the new typeface looks outdated. It’s as if you have gone back from 2003 to 1973.
    Shekhar Ghosh, on e-mail

    Like the new look—the font is great for the eye.
    Seeta Sharma, Calcutta

  • Sez WHO?
    Apr 07, 2003

    The who was quick to point out that more than half our Bollywood stars smoke on the screen which encourages our youth to go for the stick too (Glitterati, March 3). But have they ever noticed how freely Hollywood stars reach for their martinis or tequilas? Doesn’t that inspire drinking? Or is drinking a lesser crime?
    Aniruddha Malik, Tokyo

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