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.”

H. P. Lovecraft: "What a man does for pay is of little significance. What he is, as a sensitive instrument responsive to the world's beauty, is everything!"

Martin Amis: “Gogol is funny, Tolstoy in his merciless clarity is funny, and Dostoyevsky, funnily enough, is very funny indeed; moreover, the final generation of Russian literature, before it was destroyed by Lenin and Stalin, remained emphatically comic — Bunin, Bely, Bulgakov, Zamyatin. The novel is comic because life is comic (until the inevitable tragedy of the fifth act);...”

Werner Herzog: “We are surrounded by worn-out, banal, useless and exhausted images, limping and dragging themselves behind the rest of our cultural evolution.”

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."

Justin E.H. Smith: “One should of course take seriously serious efforts to improve society. But when these efforts fail, in whole or in part, it is only humor that offers redemption. So far, human expectations have always been strained, and have always come, give or take a bit, to nothing. In this respect reality itself has the form of a joke, and humor the force of truth.”

विलास सारंग: "… . . 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."

Monday, November 30, 2009

Godse Bhataji's Day-Night Game of Cricket at Jhansi in 1858!

Wikipedia informs: "The British brought cricket to India in the early 1700s, with the first cricket match being played in 1721. In 1848, the Parsi community in Bombay formed the Oriental Cricket Club, the first cricket club to be established by Indians. After slow beginnings, the Europeans eventually invited the Parsis to play a match in 1877..."

In 1827c, Godse Bhataji aka Vishnubhat Godse (गोडसे भटजी / विष्णुभट गोडसे) was borne in a poor Brahmin family in Varsai (वरसई), which is now in district of Raigad, Maharashtra. His book 'Maza pravas' (माझा प्रवास), published in 1883, is a first travelogue in Marathi.

It remains one of the best Marathi books that have been published in last one twenty-five years.

In March 1858, Godse was in Jhansi. There he saw first hand the battle between the forces of British and Rani Lakshmibai, ruler of Jhansi.

I wonder if anyone knows if and when Godse saw a game of cricket. Or indeed participated in one. Or did he just hear about it? Was the colour of the ball red in those days?

He refers to cricket as 'chenduphalii' (चेंडुफळी) in following passage that describes exchange of shells on the third day of the battle.

"...दिवसा सूर्याचे तेजामुळे गोळे दिसत नसत. या मुळे लोक फार ख़राब होत असत. रात्रौ स्पष्ट चेंडुफळीचे खेलाप्रो। ते लाल दिसत..."

("...during the day because of Sun's brightness shells couldn't be seen. Many people used to suffer because of that. In the night, they looked distinctly, like in a game of cricket, red...")

Looks like it was a day-night cricket match!

Appealing against the bad light or against the unfairness of the British Raj was as hopeless as in the picture below.

Eventually Jhansi fell. British forces plundered it. Godse's description of the Empire's cruelty is heartwrenching.


Artist: Mike Williams, June 1 1977, Punch Magazine

Caption reads: 'We'd like to appeal against the light.'

Please visit http://www.punchcartoons.com for more fun.