November 25, 2013

Indian cricket

A farewell that went a tad overboard

In Open magazine, Madhavankutty Pillai puts all the hype and hoopla surrounding Sachin Tendulkar's retirement into perspective, slamming all the celebrities and eminent personalities who joined the bandwagon for just furthering their own interests.

There is, however, another way of looking at it. Because the image also shows this--common folk kept at bay by a wall of VIPs, a club of the elite, who have co-opted Tendulkar. These are also the celebrities who just picked up a phone and got a ticket to the Test match while the rest of India had to count on a lottery for the fraction of seats reserved for the general public. The men who make up this queue are also the ones who have been asked over the past few days to relentlessly comment on Tendulkar as he bids farewell. The ones who, through their unending superlatives, give the appearance that the world has come to a standstill for the Test.

In the Hindu, carnatic vocalist TM Krishna draws comparisons between sport and art, with a focus on Tendulkar's craft. Like in art, where the musician and the music are borderless, when watching Tendulkar play, the man and his bat became one. It was like watching life's beauty in its most natural self.

For musicians, there are times when the musical flow seems boundless, the voice is at its best, when they think that they control music and can command it to do whatever they want. Are these the 'times' when music can be said to not just take place but actually happen? I think not. These are days when artists might be successful and feted by people but, within, they know that the music has, at an essential level, stopped. Sometimes it does not matter how great the voice is or whether the artists are at their fluent best. By letting music sing through them, they come in contact with an essence that is beyond music itself. But for this the musician must remain in the deep acceptance that music exists and he only participates in its life.

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