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.”
Albert Einstein: “I am content in my later years. I have kept my good humor and take neither myself nor the next person seriously.” (To P. Moos, March 30, 1950. Einstein Archives 60-587)
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: "… इ. स. 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Ethiopians are born on high altitude and brought up under conditions which are low in oxygen. They prefer running for most of their daily activities, a habit they have nurtured for centuries. This has done them a world of good. In fact, many athletes had been running many miles to school everyday, before their talent was recognized.
Kavita Raut's hamlet near Nashik is low on many things including water but oxygen is not one of them. As a child, apparently, she ran a couple of kilometres every day just to fetch water.
I did not know anything about Ms. Raut before the start of the 10,000 m race at Delhi 2010 CWG on October 8 2010.
My wife and I watched the race live. We were happy to see two diminutive Indian girls leading it.
I thought it was too good to be true. Even English commentators kept mentioning them as "Indian girls".
Kavita Raut fell behind at some point. We forgot about her and kept cheering Preeja Sreedharan who led the race for a while.
When Ms. Raut started catching up, I still thought she would finish fourth or fifth. My wife however felt she would finish third. She was proved damn right.
As Ms. Raut ran last paces of the race she looked pale and white. I was worried for her. (I am not sure but I thought she puked after the race.) It all looked surreal.
After the race, as Kavita joined two Kenyans in running the lap of honour, I don't think they paid much attention to her.
Maybe in near future, they will do so, when Kavita overtakes them in a live race.
Since Friday evening reams have been written about her and her background. A xenophobic member of Marathi TV media tried to gloat about her being "Marathi". Contrast this with the big heart shown by Delhi spectators when they cheered second loudest for Pakistani contingent at the CWG opening ceremony.
Sunil Gavaskar reportedly told a TV channel after V V S Laxman's recent match winning effort at Mohali that it was perhaps the greatest performance of an Indian in any sport. I hope Mr. Gavaskar watched Ms. Raut.
Earlier on this blog I hoped "some one like Moses Kipsiro was my direct ancestor". Male ancestor.
Here I know that my mother in many aspects was like Kavita and so are millions of other Indian women. Most sadly don't finish on any podium. For me, however, they are all winners.
Prajusha Malaikkal, Jumping for Joy and Silver