G C Lichtenberg: “It is as if our languages were confounded: when we want a thought, they bring us a word; when we ask for a word, they give us a dash; and when we expect a dash, there comes a piece of bawdy.”

W H Auden: "But in my arms till break of day / Let the living creature lie. / Mortal, guilty, but to me/ The entirely beautiful."

Will Self: “To attempt to write seriously is always, I feel, to fail – the disjunction between my beautifully sonorous, accurate and painfully affecting mental content, and the leaden, halting sentences on the page always seems a dreadful falling short. It is this failure – a ceaseless threnody keening through the writing mind – that dominates my working life, just as an overweening sense of not having loved with enough depth or recklessness or tenderness dominates my personal one.”

John Gray: "Unlike Schopenhauer, who lamented the human lot, Leopardi believed that the best response to life is laughter. What fascinated Schopenhauer, along with many later writers, was Leopardi’s insistence that illusion is necessary to human happiness."

Art Spiegelman: "You know words in a way are hitting you on the left side of your brain, music and visual arts hit on the right side of the brain, so the idea is to pummel you, to send you from left brain to right brain and back until you're as unbalanced as I am."

विलास सारंग: "संदर्भ कुठलेही असोत, संस्कृत, इंग्रजी, बुद्धिवादी, तांत्रिक, इतिहासाचे, खगोलशास्त्राचे, आधुनिक पदार्थविज्ञानाचे, शिवकालीन व पेशवाईतील बखरीचे, अगणित ज्ञानक्षेत्रांचे, अशा वैविध्यपूर्ण ज्ञानावर लेखन- विशेषत: कवितालेखन- उभं राहत."

Friday, November 16, 2007

Tired of Sterile ODI Cricket? Try Red-Clay Wrestling & Kabaddi

Chandrahar Patil चंद्रहार पाटील of Sangli became Maharashtra Kesari महाराष्ट्र केसरी last night November 15, 2007. He promptly thanked my childhood heroes Ganpat Andalkar गणपत आंदळकर and Maruti Mane मारुती माने among others. (By the way, on the same day, in another boring, predictable ODI cricket match, India beat Pakistan.)

TV program showcased halgi (हलगी, a small drum) player Raju Awale who played at the tournament including the final. It brought back memories of ever-smiling, friendly, wiry wrestler Suresh Awale सुरेश आवळे of Miraj who died very young in a train accident.

For the first time in my life, I watched wrestling for the title of Maharashtra Kesari live on television. What fun! Although it lasted for just over 3 minutes and took place on mat, wearing non-traditional clothing.

For few years, occasionally, I have participated in red clay wrestling. Smell of the clay still fills my nostrils. I used to get beaten quite easily. If your face is in clay longer than your opponent, you get more time to smell it! This all happened at the red clay wrestling ring of Bhanu Talim भानू तालीम,Miraj.

Wrestlers were as popular as cricketers. Every time Hindkesari Maruti Mane was spotted on his motorcycle at Miraj, we stopped in our tracks and looked in awe. When we went visiting our aunt Tai-mavashi ताई-मावशी at Kolhapur, we saw gentle giants of Motibag Talim मोतीबाग तालीम. They walked past aunt's house the way elephants go to watering hole, with grace and humility, without a sound.

When at 1972 Munich Olympics Premnath (4th place Bantamweight) and Sudesh Kumar (4th place Flyweight) did well; they were as big heroes for me as Sunil Gavaskar and G R Viswanath who had helped us beat West Indies and England previous year.

On the other hand, North Indian wrestler Satpal was as unpopular as Ahmad Shah Abdali because he used to beat Marathi speaking wrestlers.

Kabaddi is another sport that has given me endless pleasure. I was better at it than wrestling! Even if we got 15 minutes of free time at school, we played Kabaddi.

Asian Age November 15, 2007 reports:”British in India to play kabaddi”.

I ask: When are Indians in India going to wrestle and play kabaddi?

Artist: Otto Soglow The New Yorker 25 February 1928