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Crispin Sartwell’s half tongue-in-check defense of texting and Twitter as a “golden age of the written word” ignores all evidence of the opposite (“Texting and Twitter Make This a Golden Age for the Written Word,” op-ed, Sept. 23). Those of us who ban laptops in the classroom he labels “schoolmarms,” and he cites the old charge of they-hated-comic-books-too for the millionth time, and to equally empty effect.

He skips the fact that the SAT added a writing component in 2006, and scores have dropped every year save two when they were flat. A recent Hart Research Associates poll of employers found barely one quarter (27%) think that recent college grads are well-prepared in writing. The ACT’s college readiness scores in English have actually dropped six percentage points in the last five years.

All of this has happened while youths have texted away the hours. Mr. Sartwell calls it writing, but he doesn’t realize that tweeting and texting don’t make them better writers. They make them better tweeters and texters. To say, “Perk up, young people, and keep on texting,” as he concludes, isn’t whimsical or cute or provocative. It’s irresponsible.

Mark Bauerlein
Emory University
Atlanta

Appeared in the September 29, 2017, print edition of The Wall Street Journal

Movie: Anari (1959)
Director: Hrishikesh Mukherjee
Music: Shankar Jaikishen
Lyrics: Shailendra
Singer: Mukesh

I am an ardent fan of the Late Mukesh the playback singer, as evident from my past eulogy for him. This song with simple lyrics, beautifully explains what life is all about. It is tailor made for Raj Kapoor who loved playing the role of a tramp immortalized earlier by the great Charlie Chaplin.

Hindi Lyrics with Translation

किसी की मुस्कुराहटों पे हो निसार
किसी का दर्द मिल सके तो ले उधार
किसी के वासते हो तेरे दिल में प्यार
जीना इसी का नाम है

To give yourself to someone who smiles,
To share someone’s pain,
To have love for someone in your heart,
This is what life is all about…

माना अपनी जेब से फ़कीर हैं
फिर भी यारों दिल के हम अमीर हैं
मिटे जो प्यार के लिए वो ज़िन्दगी
जले बहार के लिए वो ज़िन्दगी
किसी को हो ना हो हमें तो ऐतबार
जीना इसी…

I accept my empty pockets show am a pauper,
Yet, dear friends, I am rich in my heart,
To give my all for love is what is life,
To yearn for spring is what is life,
This I believe, though some may not,
This is what life is all about…

रिश्ता दिल से दिल के ऐतबार का
जिंदा है हमीं से नाम प्यार का
के मर के भी किसी को याद आयेंगे
किसी के आंसुओं में मुस्कुराएंगे
कहेगा फूल हर कली से बार-बार
जीना इसी…

Trust is what binds a heart to heart,
Immortal is love due to (people like) me,
That I would be remembered by someone after I am gone,
Makes me smile that someone will shed tears for me,
And flowers will say to buds, on and on,
This is what life is all about…

Disclaimer:  It’s not easy to translate Urdu and Hindi words to English without losing the subtle meaning and nuances that it conveys. Please let me know if you have better translation of these lyrics.

chimps-hugging-why-we-kiss[1]

We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth.

– Virginia Satir (1916 – 1988, American author, social worker and known as the Mother of Family Therapy)

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