Letters to the Editor — March 6, 2023

March 06, 2023 12:24 am | Updated 12:24 am IST

Flu in the air

The report about rising cases related to influenza subtype A H3N2 (Page 1, March 5) is unsettling especially after we are just getting back to some semblance of normal life after the COVID-19 pandemic. To have another infectious viral disease is unpleasant news. Since the medical advice is to observe the same discipline as during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is advisable that governments use the communication apparatus already in place to spread awareness. Unlike in the West, there is not much awareness about having flu shots in India, which makes it extremely important to alert people about the symptoms of A H3N2.

Narendra Dani,

Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh

Migrant labour

The ‘decision’ by migrant workers in Tamil Nadu to return to their native homes for Holi is a perfect ruse to escape. So, the assertion by a section of politicians that there is no threat to migrant workers is weak. I am from an industrial town and I know the ground reality. A majority of workers in the garment export industry may not return. The workers did not wait for trains that would take them straight to their States; they have taken short trips to get past the Tamil Nadu border from where they can take another train to reach home. All industrial sectors will be hit hard.

V. Lakshmanan,

Tirupur, Tamil Nadu

The pearl diver

The article (‘Tamil Nadu in Focus’ page), “The last of pearl divers from the ancient tradition of Korkai” (March 3), brought back memories of Suleiman, our recently retired caretaker, a pearl diver from Thoothukudi in his youth. As the Akbar in our non-denominational Amar-Akbar-Anthony household, he would be insistent in observing all the rituals when it came to cutting branches from our trees, digging graves for our pets, or saving snakes that had crawled in during the rains. That he was also a pearl diver made him a near mythic figure in our imagination. Arab traders have long come down to the coast to collect pearls for the Middle East. At the Gulisthan Palace Museum in Tehran, small mounds of seed pearls from India were displayed for us to touch. We were told that the Shah’s children were allowed to play in the pearl mounds just as other children play in the sand. Sadly, our Akbar was addicted to smoking beedies and maintained that he had the lungs for them. With the rising of sectarian passions and the isolation caused by COVID-19, he decided to return to his roots. He tells us that he runs a small shop next to the local mosque. Pearl divers are obviously legends of our fabled past.

Geeta Doctor,


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