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."

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Hockey World Cup and a Tale of Two SSC Exams

Gol Maal(1979) is my favourite film. I must have seen it several times.

It's directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee, who was a very interesting person.

Here is how he conceived his film "Anand" (1971): Mukherjee loved Raj Kapoor so much that he was morbidly afraid thinking of Raj Kapoor's death some day. The film is an effort to capture those feelings. Raj Kapoor is played by Rajesh Khanna and Hrishikesh Mukherjee is played by Amitabh Bachchan.

This is one of the most creative idea I have heard for a Hindi film.

'Gol Maal' (and Chhoti Si Baat, 1975), really captured the mood of people like me in the 1970's, early 1980's: bell-bottoms trousers...long hair...a belief that a revolution was round the corner and anger would get us there...good education...no jobs ('the best' job going was that of a clerk at a nationalised bank)...phone was something one saw only in movie...middleclass pretty girls- flaunting nonzero size figures- who got married before they turned even 21...and field hockey as popular as cricket.

A hockey match at Mumbai, between India-Pakistan, plays a major role in the film. It gives birth to the twin brother named 'Lakshmanprasad' of our hero 'Ramprasad'.

Asian Age Feb 15 2010: '“Yaar aaj Govinda aur Ashok Kumar bhi hote to mazaa aa jata.” This famous line from the movie Golmaal in 1979 — when actor Amol Palekar feigns sickness to watch a hockey match — depicts the frenzy that once surrounded the national game.'

India won 1975 hockey world cup that was played between March 1 - March 15 at Merdeka Stadium, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I was supposed to be in the thick of my S S C examination.

Earlier in 1973, I almost died hearing running commentary of India's final against Holland when they gave up their 2-0 lead and lost the cup.

Today, I remember the world cup more vividly than the exam! I heard running commentary of every India match on All India Radio and was panic stricken in the last ten minutes of the final between Indian-Pakistan played on March 15, should India repeated their earlier folly.

They didn't!

Inspired by efforts of Ajitpal Singh (captain), Leslie Fernandes, Ashok Dewan, Michael Kindo, Surjeet Singh, Aslam Sher Khan, Virender Singh, Onkar Singh, Mohinder Singh, V. J. Philips, Harcharan Singh, Shivaji Pawar, Ashok Kumar, B. P. Govinda, H. J. S. Chimni, B. P. Kalaiah and riding luck, I topped my school and the town in the SSC exam.

Who knew it would be India's last such triumph for decades to come?

Boys, this year my son appears for his S S C exam! Will you do it for him?

"Australian Jamie Dwyer, pictured below, is considered as the most lethal striker in world hockey, but there is something even this 30-year Australian cannot do — win every game 10-0 for coach Ric Charlesworth." (The Asian Age, Feb 23 2010)

Mr. Charlesworth, once we routinely used to!


Picture Courtesy: Getty Images