Wizard of our times
Sir — It is getting quite impossible to reconcile the different sides to J.K. Rowling, the creator of Harry Potter, the boy wizard. On the one hand, “Ruthless Rowling cries when characters die” (June 19). On the other, she refuses to divulge even the tiniest detail from the newest Potter thriller which can legally be on the bookshelves from today — making scores of her pre-publication interviews useless exercises in publicity. The self-assured manner in which Rowling is going about putting Harry Potter in literature’s hall of fame, she might just be a greater wizard than her creation.
Deepra Guha, Calcutta
Sir — The conditions in which the Calcutta traffic police perform their duties are unenviable for even the toughest police force in the world. Calcutta’s traffic policemen deserve a great deal of appreciation on this count. They have even managed to make the greater section of vehicle drivers obey the road rules. However, it is the government-owned vehicles which make a special effort to make their presence felt by driving recklessly, overstepping the stop lines and hurtling through red signals. The traffic police, being government servants themselves, simply look on helplessly, sending out the wrong signals to other drivers. It is the duty of the government official sitting inside such a car to stop the driver from breaking the rules. The traffic police then will automatically be encouraged to enforce the rules strictly and effectively.
Partho Roy, Calcutta
Sir — As a foreigner in your country and city, I have one major complaint: against taxi drivers in Calcutta. I feel that the taxi drivers here do more to drive tourists away from the city rather than driving them around.
Recently, I was near New Market and asked a taxi driver to take me to Camac Street. It was 5:15 pm and he said, “Yes. 100 rupees.” I said, “No. Start the meter”. He refused, and remained completely unfazed when I threatened to call a policeman. I ended up leaving the taxi.
I am fully aware that complaining to the authorities is useless. On another occasion at the same place in the middle of a storm, I walked along a line of taxis; the first driver asked for Rs 400 to go to Camac Street, which normally would take around Rs 21. The second, third and fourth refused. In desperation, I took the fifth taxi, agreeing to pay Rs 100.
I will surely tell my friends who want to visit India that Calcutta taxi drivers take foreign tourists for a ride, a little more than literally. In most countries, a cab driver’s licence is revoked if there are three complaints from the public against him. Can’t something similar be done here'
Don Castledine, via email
Unfit to control
Sir — Adrian le Roux’s decision to sever ties with the Indian cricket team has put the focus back on the lack of professionalism and accountability in the Indian cricket board “Amateur board loses pro hand”, June 10). It is appalling to find that the board had not even bothered to draw up a proper contract and ask for the services of the man who had almost overnight changed the way Indian cricketers played the game.
Tomojit Bhattacharjee, Silchar
Sir — The Board of Control for Cricket in India is the richest cricket board in the world. It is therefore difficult to digest that it could not offer a better deal to Adrian le Roux than the South African board’s. Or, had the BCCI bosses taken it for granted that he would never leave Team India' For Indian players, who are not naturally athletic, and tend to put on weight easily, a good physical trainer is a must. Le Roux would have fitted the bill perfectly. Sadly, everyone but the board officials seems to realize this.
Sumant Poddar, Calcutta
Sir — India owes a large part of its World Cup success to Adrian le Roux. And now, India’s loss — of le Roux — will surely be South Africa’s gain, thanks to the immaturity and selfishness of the BCCI.
Chandan Ray, Calcutta