The shared joy of Christmas cake

It is one of the most exciting facets of the festive season for people regardless of their religion or community

  • Published 27.11.18, 5:56 PM
  • Updated 27.11.18, 5:56 PM
  • 3 mins read
The enjoyment that the people of Calcutta, irrespective of religion or community, take in eating Christmas cake embodies the city's deeply inclusive spirit The Telegraph file picture

Sir — There is already a nip in the air, which means that winter is finally setting in. This season resonates in a special way with the people of Calcutta, given the enthusiasm with which we celebrate festivals like Christmas. One of the most exciting facets of the festive season is the famed Christmas cake that is made in many households and can be seen in bakeries across the city. The deep enjoyment that the people of this city, irrespective of religion or community, take in eating these delicious fruit-and-nut-filled cakes embodies the deeply inclusive spirit of Calcutta.

Bidisha Dutta,


Darkest hour

Sir — It was sickening to read about the plight of the dog which is said to have died after allegedly being raped and tortured by four men in Mumbai who were under the influence. Words cannot describe the depths to which humanity has fallen if men cannot even spare animals from such heinous crimes. The dog in question used to frequently be seen in the Malwani Church area of the city, which is why its disappearance for a whole day was noticed. It was spotted afterwards with severe injuries that indicated sexual assault.

It will, perhaps, be naive to expect authorities to take harsh action against the culprits. After all, women in India who have been subjected to sexual assault at the hands of men rarely get justice. When society and law enforcement care so little about human beings who are women, what attention are they likely to pay to an animal? One hopes, however, that animal rights organizations as well as ordinary citizens who care about animals will take up the matter on a war footing. Laws against animal cruelty not only need to be strengthened but also enforced strictly. It is high time that human beings, especially men, learnt that such unspeakable crimes will invite harsh consequences.

Sohini Sen,


Sir — I was deeply disgusted to learn about the four men who reportedly tortured and sexually assaulted a dog. This is tantamount to gang rape. The sheer horror of the news makes it difficult for civilized citizens to process.

According to reports, Sudha Fernandes, a local resident who regularly feeds the dogs in the area, found the injured dog. She contacted Animals Matter To Me, a non-governmental organization that works for the welfare of animals, which then tried to treat the victim’s injuries and trauma.

It pains me to even think about how depraved one has to be to hurt an animal in such a manner. The AMTM must not let the matter be forgotten; it must do everything in its power to bring the culprits to book. The latter deserve the strictest punishment under the law.

Shreya Sahni,


New Zealand spinner Ajaz Patel celebrates after taking the wicket of Pakistani captain Sarfraz Ahmed during the second day of the first Test cricket match between Pakistan and New Zealand in Abu Dhabi
New Zealand spinner Ajaz Patel celebrates after taking the wicket of Pakistani captain Sarfraz Ahmed during the second day of the first Test cricket match between Pakistan and New Zealand in Abu Dhabi AP

Rising star

Sir — The spin bowler from New Zealand, Ajaz Patel, deserves the heartiest congratulations for his stupendous feat on his Test debut against Pakistan (“It’s quite rewarding to contribute, says Ajaz Patel”, Nov 21). He demolished Pakistan’s batting line-up. In a situation where Pakistan needed just 41 runs to win with six wickets in hand, Patel took the wickets of Imam-ul-Haq, Sarfraz Ahmed, Bilal Asif, Hasan Ali and, most crucially, the captain, Azhar Ali. The latter’s wicket was the last to fall, and it resulted in Pakistan’s defeat with just four runs left. Patel helped his team win a match that they were almost going to lose. In the process, he proved that he is at present the best spinner in his team. I fully expect him to go on to do great things in his bowling career.

Shaban Ahmed,


Sir — Ajaz Patel made his Test debut at the age of 30. This proves that excellence can be achieved at any age. It was a delight to watch his bowling spell against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi; scalping so many wickets on a debut run is no mean feat.

Patel, who is of Indian origin, emigrated to New Zealand when he was very young. It is not difficult to see why he is considered so formidable — in 45 first-class games, he has taken 194 wickets which include three 10-wicket hauls. He has also scripted history in other ways: the last time a Test was won by a smaller margin than this was during the second match of the Ashes in 2005, when England beat Australia by two runs. Cricket lovers will be looking forward to seeing what else Patel achieves in his Test career.

Priya Dey,


Parting shot

Sir — The woes of contractual college teachers in Calcutta are worsening by the day. Colleges are increasingly hiring teachers on a contractual basis; the latter are exploited and paid a meagre salary. It has been said that school teachers in a private institutions are often paid better than contractual college teachers in the city. Several letters have been sent to the University Grants Commission in this regard, but its response is still awaited.

The administrations in a number of colleges practise favouritism during the recruitment process for teachers. As a result, many talented teachers are unable to get the kinds of jobs they deserve. It is time for citizens to recognize this as a serious problem.

Rajarshi Mukherjee,


Working as Author for The Telegraph