During a recent conversation with a friend who works for a newspaper, I came to know a lot of unknowns about ‘Letters To The Editors.` For the average Joe (and that doesn`t mean the 165 cms tall Joe living in Texas, US) Letters to the Editors mean nothing, but if you are a journalist and are responsible for choosing the best among 100s of letters that are received, editing them and then publishing them…you are going to have a lot of laughter in your life.
I tried to get some Letters To The Editor samples so that I could share with you, but he refused. Said, the senders might not appreciate being published on an average-Joe website like Ouchmytoe.com. I didn`t argue.
As a consolation, I publish below three letters I sent to the editors of two different newspapers when I used to be journalistically-active.
August 20, 1997 (Submitted to: The Hindu)
Let me come straight to the point – we need to do something about the internet. Internet they call it, but I would say it is ‘dangernet`. All my friends steal a major portion of the money kept in the house for provisions and go to the browsing center. Now, if you are a regular internet user…you know why they sit in the browsing centers for hours on end. I don`t know if you are addicted to porn or chat with girls…but I am sure you understand my concern.
We need to stop this internet menace, so please publish this letter. I promise you, I won`t spend the honorarium of Rs 200 on internet.
JV Rajan, Calcutta
The above letter to the editor never got published.
Jan 11, 2000 (Submitted to: The Hindu)
If you remember I had sent you a letter on 20th August 1997 and for some reason – and I am sure it was a good reason – you didn`t publish my letter. I hold no grudge against you. This letter comes to you because I want to bring to notice the plight of people using the road in front of our house. The 50 feet wide road was recently named by our residents association as Anna Kournikova Road after she reached the No 1 ranking for the first time on Nov 22 1999.
While I had suggested Steffi Graf, our association`s president – a retired Tam Bram friend of mine – overruled it. I am writing this letter to you because I want to bring to your notice the huge pot holes on the Anna Kournikova road. It has caused us deep anguish and hurt and we are looking at a quick solution. The men in the neighborhood find it difficult to go about their daily life with thoughts about the potholes at the back of their minds. Motorists are known to stop their bikes on the side and drop a tear or two. How could a road named after Anna Kournikova – the lady with such unblemished skin – have so many potholes? Please give it a thought.
JV Rajan, Madurai
Wonder why, but this letter also didn`t get published.
Aug 18, 2003 (Submitted to: The New Indian Express)
If you have just quit your job at The Hindu and joined The New Indian Express, you probably remember my letters of August 20, 1997 & Jan 11, 2000. If you haven`t changed your job recently please ignore the earlier sentence.
This letter is to bring to your notice that the glamor quotient in your newspaper has been dipping. In the last six months you have carried only three photos with the navel showing (one of which was a man`s) and only five photos with the cleavage showing (two of which weren`t clear because the color had smudged). Please compare it with the statistics of your glamor quotient between Sept 2002 to Feb 2003 – 16 navel shows, 24 cleavages and 6 bikini shots. Don`t you think there has been a dip?
If you publish this letter and send me the honorarium (how much is it now-a-days?) I plan to buy a playboy.
JV Rajan, Madurai
This letter also didn`t get published
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