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."

Monday, November 26, 2007

England, India Go Missing from Big Sports Tourneys. Does it matter?

England has failed to qualify for Euro 2008. The British economy, by one estimate, could lose out on a £2 billion payoff...

Paul Doyle of The Guardian said:

"...The brutal truth of tonight's 3-2 defeat is this: England aren't one of the best 16 teams in Europe, let alone a world football power.

Blame it on the manager if you want, or a decadent society that means the country's current crop of players are more a bling generation than a golden one. Or perhaps it would be better to blame it on a blind fear and loathing of foreigners, the malaise that moved English fans to boo the Croatian national anthem before the game..."

Sunil Gavaskar wrote (Sportstar November 10, 2007):

“…. England’s failure to qualify for Euro 2008 would be akin to India not making it to the main draw of Asia cup.”

This comparison is not fair. The field for qualification for Euro 2008 was much stronger than Asia cup cricket.

But the point is taken. Gavaskar has always enjoyed rubbing it in when it comes to England. Me too!

The fair comparison would be England’s this failure with India's failure to qualify for the final stage of Cricket World Cup

Gavaskar also said:”…the English players are far more concerned about their club than their country…”

This may also happen to Indian cricketers once professional cricket leagues (Zee and BCCI) in India take off.

Does this loss matter to either team? I think not.

Football in England and Cricket in India are locomotives of massive commercial interests. Those interests keep everybody (media, fans, advertisers, sponsors, commentators, coaches) still follow the losers as closely as winners. In fact, winning or losing is only incidental.

I feel cricket matches in India in future may be organized like free-style wrestling bouts involving brothers, Dara Singh and Randhawa, at Vallabbhai Patel Stadium, Worli in the past: Opponents get beaten by Indian team to give Indian fans a huge high.

Team Croatia played excellent football on Wednesday. But I don't know a single Croatian footballer!

However, I know many English footballers thanks to their scantily dressed wives and girlfriends (WAGs), who keep making appearances on the pages of Indian newspapers almost every single day! Thank goodness, my familiarity with Indian cricketers is more direct!

For example, Carly Zucker of Joe Cole fame appears very often:

Artist: R K Laxman Times of India March 20, 2007