x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Yash Chopra was a titan of Indian cinema

The veteran director will be greatly missed, a reader writes. Other letter topics today: piracy, parenting, Mubarak, baseball coverage and sudden sadness at the chicken counter.

The Bollywood filmmaker Yash Raj Chopra will be remembered for breaking new ground, a reader says. AFP
The Bollywood filmmaker Yash Raj Chopra will be remembered for breaking new ground, a reader says. AFP

Luck and sadness in a few words at the counter

Those of us who have been lucky in life need to appreciate our good fortune and commiserate with others.

Late Monday evening I stopped off at a well-known restaurant to pick up a barbecued chicken to take home.

As one grill man wrapped my food, the other looked at me and asked, cordially enough, "Where from?"

I answered "Canada" and he said "Canada good". Of course I asked where he was from, and he answered "Syria". The word just lay there between us.

Finally I muttered something about hoping for better times ahead, and added "inshallah", which is almost all the Arabic I know.

"Inshallah," he replied solemnly. I took my chicken and left.

Gordon Melvin, Abu Dhabi

Director Chopra will be missed

The demise of Yash Chopra (Top Bollywood director Yash Chopra dies after contracting dengue fever, October 22) was a great loss to the film industry.

Four decades ago his movies, with multi-star casts, created a big revolution in filmmaking in India.

I remember many memorable films by this stalwart, and I salute this departed legend.

K Ragavan, India

Many parents simply must work

The ideas expressed in the article Are you damaging your child? (October 23) were very upsetting to me. I really can't agree.

"Children who are parented well often have a kind of charisma and it's delightful to be around them," psychologist Faye Snyder is quoted as saying.

It's easy to say that if you're from a huge ivory tower in the US. But what would she advise those mothers who live under bridges?

Maybe she should try it and see whether day care still seems so dreadful.

"Needs must", as the expression goes. Surely putting food on the table and a roof over a child's head must come first.

E Baxter, Dubai

No more about the NY Yankees

In a fawning editorial (Yankee magic, October 14) and an annoying sports story (A New York state of mind, October 19) your newspaper first raved about the greatness of the New York Yankees, and then managed to do a post-mortem that was all about the losers, not mentioning the team that dispatched the Yankees in four games.

Now the World Series will pit the San Francisco Giants against the Detroit Tigers, two teams with remarkable stories of their own.

Please write about them, not those losers from the Bronx.

Bill J Brown, US

People support foes of corruption

So Hosni Mubarak stole "only $300 million"? (Myth of Mubarak's mission billions, October 23.) But how many Egyptians are living at the edge of poverty? Would they say "only"?

Mao Zedong certainly had his faults, and his successors have shown that they know all about corruption. But he had the right idea: "Do not take so much as a needle or a piece of thread from the masses."

The Muslim Brotherhood and other hard-line parties are widely perceived as less likely to be corrupt, and this is a big element in their popularity. We'll see how they maintain that reputation now that they have opportunity.

HG Khalil, Dubai

Pirate pandering asks for trouble

It is easy to understand why owners of the MV Orna, and relatives of its crewmen, wanted the vessel to be ransomed, as it now has been (Six MV Orna crew still held by pirates, October 23).

But as the headline shows, giving pirates what they want just encourages them to claim more. A sterner logic - no payments, just gunfire at sea and law and order on land - is in the long run what will be needed to stop piracy.

Travis Coleman, Abu Dhabi

Region's tumult facilitates looting

The story Christie's thwarts plot to sell looted Libyan antiquities (October 23) left me feeling quite depressed about the heritage of our part of the world.

Of course it is good news that this particular scheme to sell stolen artefacts has been stopped and exposed. But all across the Arab Spring countries, and in Iraq and Afghanistan, antiquities of all sorts have been the defenceless victims of the fighting, large and small, of the last months and years.

How much of the region's past has been lost in the present struggle to control the future?

Omar Hasan, Abu Dhabi