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Published: Fri 14 Aug 2015, 9:26 AM

Last updated: Fri 14 Aug 2015, 10:25 AM

Best Letter
The iTunes store first launched back in April 2003, to mixed reactions. Hard line purists balked at the suggestion that music could be split into digital bits and be sold on the Internet, rendering their gramophones and boom boxes obsolete. Artists and record labels, on the other hand, waited with bated breath to see whether a business model, concocted by a rather illustrious company ?named after a fruit, could succeed (Thank You for the Music, Aug 7). That didn't take long, as the store reached 275,000 downloads in only five days, Apple had managed to sell a million songs, beating both critics' and sales forecasts alike.
These events meant that artists could finally monetise their talents in a way that was not only legal, but also convenient for the user, who could obtain a song for 99 cents or less. Gone were the days when audiophiles would endlessly sift through vinyl after vinyl and 8-tracks, looking for that one song that would make their endeavour worthwhile; sharing playlists not by a button, but through common interests. I, for one, fondly remember my weekly visits to the local music store when I was six years old, peering down or craning my neck - to catch a glimpse of endless crates stuffed to the gills with 8-tracks (cassettes) that ranged from Bob Dylan to the Black Eyed Peas.
After spending one too many hours rummaging through old tapes, I would ultimately find one that suited my eclectic tastes and would proceed to take it home and share it with my close confidants, who not only added their own insights, but also their own tracks to our boom box that was the envy of friends and foes alike! Music, it seemed back then, not only sounded better, but was also more tactile and personal; ?it would bring the community together rather than isolate. Friends proudly displayed their motley collections like badges of honour and swaps would ensue, sharing music in a way that digitalised music just cannot hope to emulate. I might sound like a ?heretic, as I conduct all my present purchases through the iTunes store, but it seems like the biggest losers are not the record labels who failed to catch up with Apple, but the members of the community who proceeded to enjoy music at their own discretion. Perhaps, the new Apple music will change that.
Changing Lanes
I think it's true what they say about times changing and how the newer generation is much different from our own. It's probably why, when you tell kids these days to get ready to go out, instead of laughter and happiness, you hear, "But what will I do in the car? I'm going to be so bored." Your article Bonding in the Car (Aug 7) made me think that the tips are not just a good idea for long drives, but for daily rides too. Long drives are definitely a good way to have a bonding session with your children. However, for most kids these days, a drive is nothing more than more time on the iPad, or on the TV - my daughter, for example, is always saying that I should buy a car with a built-in TV. The tips on bonding were very informative, and I personally loved the very first point of having some non-talk time, which would be great if you could pull it off with your kids.
With these and more ideas in your pocket, your next road journey will end with you not only reaching your destination, but also having gained some fun memories along the way.
Sameen Ahmed, by email
Romancing the Rain
From seducing a hero to serenading the heroine, the rains have been always used as a backdrop for romance and action in Bollywood, expressing an array of emotions from romance to pure mischief, and pathos to melancholy (Singing in the Rain, Aug 7). Filmmakers have unabashedly displayed their love for the rains in various ways, adding extra charm to the romance and intensity of scenes. The amazing appeal of the rain song in the film Awara is still intact six decades later, and viewers' hearts still race when they watch the sensuous Madhubala in Barsaat Ki Raat. The power of rain is beautifully depicted in the climax of Lagaan as well, and so is the struggle of the protagonist in Mother India, facing the bitter realities of life. From the golden era to ?the latest, Bollywood and rains have been hand-in-hand capturing the essence that has resulted in the panorama of great cinema.
Jayashree Kulkarni, Abu Dhabi
Running For Your Dreams
"Courage is being scared to death, but standing up anyways." I was truly awestruck and mesmerised by Kayla Montgomery's courage to follow her passion even when she knew the repercussions of her actions (Run Kayla Run, Aug 7). Her story was thought-provoking and I admire her bravery and strength.
I personally know someone as brave as Kayla. Her disabilities have never stopped her from smiling or following her dreams. She is one of the most positive people I have ever had the chance of meeting. I was reminded of my friend when I read the article. What we can learn from Kayla is that all our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.
Christina Joshy, by email

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