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Par Avion

A random sample from the British newspapers

Par Avion

Divine Touches

The tradition of Araiyars singing/dancing to songs from 'The Divine Collection of Four Thousand' in Vishnu temples in Tamil Nadu is waning, but many devout Vaishnavites still keep a copy of the book in their homes. Many recite songs therefrom in their daily prayers. The poet-saint Nammalvar wrote more than 1,200 of these songs in four books that are his rendition of the four Vedas in Tamil. Lunar calendar birthdays are still celebrated in many Tamil homes and temples. The poet-saint Andal's birthday falls on August 16 this year. Her songs describing her dream of her wedding to the Lord are sung at traditional Tamil weddings, even today. A thousand-year-old tradition continues, in many different forms.

R. Vijayaraghavan, California, in FT Weekend

It's the best

As anyone who has spent time in foreign hotels will vouch, the BBC is unquestionably the best broadcaster in the world. That, however, does not make it immune from criticism and reform. To hide behind the argument that the British public are its shareholders and, therefore, the determinants of its content is a sure-fire route to mediocrity. The BBC loses its unique position of being able to produce worthwhile programmes if ratings are taken as be-all and end-all.

Charles Holden, Hampshire, in The Daily Telegraph

Grunt, grunt

Maria Sharapova never seems to scream during practice, only during play.

R.M. Flaherty, Perthshire, in The Daily Telegraph


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