A Full Package
This is regarding the cover story by Geetika Pathania Jain (“Erasing the Accent”India Currents, April 2016). I love Priyanka Chopra and her evolution as an actress. Specifically I like her roles in Barfi, Mary Kom and Bajirao Mastani. She has played diverse roles and is a full package. I am blown away by her role inQuantico, which I have watched from Day 1.

Though, I feel as though the show is getting boring by the episode with the writers’ efforts to keep it continuously mysterious. I agree with all the points made in the article. I just wished the article had been shorter. Brevity is the soul of wit.

When depicting Asians, Hollywood has moved from pure Chinese/Asian gangs/martial arts type to Middle East terrorists since 24 (I loved that show). For many in Hollywood, it seems as though all brown people are terrorists and Priyanka Chopra made a good call by accepting the Quantico role and playing it the way she has.
Madan Ahluwalia, online

Great story on Quantico and Priyanka Chopra by Geetika Pathania Jain. I’ve watched 10-15 minutes of Quantico, so I don’t know enough to comment on it. Regarding Persis Khambatta, who is mentioned in the beginning, while the author either explicitly or implicitly identifies Muslims and Hindus as such, she gives no indication that Persis Khambatta was a Parsi. So in a way she does what she wishes Quantico’s creator/producer Joshua Safran had not done to the Alex Parrish character played by Priyanka Chopra. Our miniscule Parsi community is accustomed to its erasure from the identity of international stars such as Freddie Mercury, and in general I don’t much care for labels, but in a piece about diversity maybe it would have been appropriate to mention her  community somewhere?
Sohrab Homi Fracis, online

How Much is Enough?
Ashok Jethanandani’s essay “Got Water?” (“Got Water?” India Currents, April 2016) offers some sound ayurvedic advice about drinking water. In particular, it emphasizes the importance of drinking the optimum amount of water.

However, achieving an optimum level of hydration in practice can be tricky. Since our water needs may vary considerably from day to day, we need a strong and reliable signal that guides us continuously towards that optimum. Even though nature has provided such a signal (thirst), it doesn’t always work well for everybody. For some people, the thirst signal may be impaired—by sickness, stress, or age. Others may overlook it for a variety of reasons—they may be too busy at work, they may be traveling, or they may lack easy access to good drinking water. And some people may drink only a few quick sips of water from a water fountain thinking (erroneously) that they have quenched their thirst adequately.

Given these practical challenges, it would be helpful to have an additional signal to warn us when our body’s water needs have been neglected for too long. Fortunately, such a signal exists. Paying close attention to that signal may even prevent a potential episode of severe dehydration (a medical emergency).

That signal is the quantity and color of your urine. To use this signal effectively, observe the normal quantity and color of your urine on days when you are feeling well-hydrated, healthy, and energetic. After that, whenever the quantity of your urine output decreases significantly, or its color darkens noticeably, treat it as a warning that your body may be dehydrated. Promptly increase your water intake until the urine output becomes normal again.

In summary, if you can consistently drink the right amount of water using your primary (thirst) signal alone, that is wonderful. If not, be aware of the secondary (urine) warning signal and treat it with the respect it deserves. Your body will be glad you did.
Vijay Gupta, Cupertino, CA

A Rose By Any Other Name
Regarding the April editorial by Jaya Padmanabhan (“Get the Spelling of Gandhi Right, Please!” India Currents, April 2016) A proper noun never succumbs to any spelling error. A rose by any name would smell the same. Gandhi with any spelling would designate “The Mahatma.” So, why are we so unnecessarily irritated?
Mohammed Shoaib, Anaheim, CA

Unfamiliar words are parsed according to known words. Americans, for example, may hear a “handi” in the word Gandhi. Imagine saying Gandhi like an American. And that’s why they make that mistake in the spelling of Gandhi.

I have always had non-Indians mispronouncing my name. They parse it as “At-a-noo”, not “Ata-noo.” The syllable “at” is common to English speakers. Latin speakers can at least pronounce the Hindi dental “t.”
Atanu Dey, CA

I was amused to read the editorial in the April issue of India Currents in which Jaya Padmanabhan made a reference to my uncle T. N. Zutshi, an Indian who traveled to East Berlin in 1960 wearing a placard proclaiming, “The first step toward freedom: Get rid of your fear and speak the truth!”

I didn’t even know about him having made it to the Berlin Black Box Museum. Thank you for your refreshing editorials which I never miss reading.
 Jeevan Zutshi, CA

I enjoyed reading the article on Gandhi. One of the least known facts about Gandhi is that almost every country issues a postage stamp on him except Pakistan and/or China. I have pretty much 95% of those postage stamps.
Shukoor Ahmed, MD

Vandana Kumar is a publishing executive with a 36-year track record in the industry. She leads the India Currents Foundation as President and CEO. As a new immigrant, she co-founded India Currents magazine...