In Letter & Spirit

To Sunday Shillong,

This is in reference to the article, ‘Sewing up the gap in time’, published in the May 5 edition. It is a nostalgic write-up and not only brings back personal memories but also revives life and time in old Shillong. The city has changed drastically over the last few decades. From a simple and innocent hill city, Shillong has turned into an urban sprawl. The glitter is everywhere, in markets, on roads and in our lives. And amid these are the surviving stories of those good old days, clinging to these tailoring shops. Unable to withstand the competition from new-age apparel market, many old tailoring shops in the city have closed down. Those who survived are merely trying to meet ends as demand for stitched clothes has gone down. I still remember my childhood when my siblings and I would go to a tailoring shop near our house (which shut up shop a decade ago) for getting new dresses stitched before Christmas. It was fun as our mother instructed the designs to the man in the shop. The designs were simple, the fabric cheap as it was not possible for a single mother to afford expensive clothes for six children.
I still remember visiting JC Das Tailoring Shop with my elder brother who wanted new trousers for a special occasion in college. I remember how excited he was when he got the stitched clothes. For hours he spent in front of the mirror until we girls started giggling and teasing him. It is the cycle of time and life. The old are always replaced by the new and these tailoring shops are victims of that vicious cycle. They will probably vanish soon and with them many stories of old Shillong will also be forgotten forever.

Thanking you
A saddened citizen

To Sunday Shillong,

This is in reference to the article, ‘Time for a bigspin’, published in the May 12 edition. It is really wonderful that the skateboarders in the city have finally got an exclusive space for practice. Many skateboard enthusiasts in Shillong are often seen practising on the premises of Central Library, or on streets, sometimes even on busy roads, and in cramped localities. It is really sad to see these youths and children desperate for space. Youngsters should get enough space to play and run around and be themselves. In today’s world where space crisis is a major problem, children are getting addicted to indoor life, playing video games and watching television. And some who want to go out and play have to be satisfied with a slice of space. I think the Pro-Life park is a good initiative and more such open spaces should be created in the city to cater to youths with interests in different sports and activities.

Thanking you
S Pyngrope

To Sunday Shillong,

This is in reference to the article, ‘Need that extra in education’, published on May 12. Extracurricular activities are indeed important, especially in today’s world when pressure of studies is tremendous. Children do need a change, enough time to refresh their minds.
As a parent, I completely sympathise with my child who has to do multi-tasking even at the age of 12. He is so afraid of falling behind in the competition that he refuses to listen to me when I tell him not to study after 8pm. I am usually against children spending their whole vacation doing homeworks and studying for examinations. So I tell my child to read more story books than textbooks. Though he is a fine reader, he does not stop reading textbooks. I am surprised how panic-stricken our children are. This is not a healthy way of growing up. As aptly pointed out in the article, education should not become a burden on our children but should be fun for them. Only then they can imbibe the best qualities and remember their lessons properly, and for life.

Thanking you
A concerned parent