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 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.