Writer’s Block

June 7, 2014

No doubt, it is a presumptuous title for a post by me. After all, I am hardly a writer. However, this has been state since my last post sometime in 2011. So what prompted me to write now. It was a piece by Nandita Das that I read recently. In the article, she has candidly admitted that most times when she sits down to write she has no idea of what she is going to write about. Yet she manages to keep to her writing commitments. That was the spark I was looking for, and here I am typing away with absolutely no idea as to how the rest of this post is gonna go. 

I had gotten into a state of mind which made me believe that the posts that I was writing were not worthy of being written. After all, aren’t there enough and more people already writing and expressing their points of view. What is the point of one more person doing the same. It is not as if my world view offers anything original, unique or interesting. It is also not as if my unoriginal points of view are being articulated more eloquently. But now, come to think of it, originality and eloquence are hardly prerequisites for me to continue writing on my blog. It is my own place on this earth and I am at liberty to write about, by and large, what I want and in the manner I can. This was reinforced to me a while back when my 12 year old daughter was asked, by a judge in a writing competition, why she writes. Her paraphrased answer was “I write because I want to write”. It has taken me a while to realise this simple truth. Hopefully it is the beginning of a slightly more prolific writing phase. My poor followers !!!!

 

The World Cup begins

March 21, 2011

It’s not often that I agree with Ricky Ponting. However, his consistent view that so many of the associate nations have no business to be part of a World Cup is spot on. Period.

With the chaff out, the rest of the matches will be what a fan will die for. Sri Lanka vs. England should be spectacular. Notwithstanding Siddhu, Swann has been the most influential spinner in this tournament. He is not going to make it easy for the Lankans. Sanga has been ploughilng a lone furrow for the Lankans. Mahela giving him company off and on. I will be rooting for the English.

India vs. Australia will be tight. I hope India can get Watson out soon enough. India should win, finally.

Pakistan and South Africa should come through the other matches.

Can this line up beat anything thus far in the world cup.

Why ??

January 30, 2010

Often I wonder why I write. I don’t need to; write that is. Yet I do it. This in spite of the fact that thus far, the rest of the world has been blissfully oblivious to what or how I write.

The pointlessness to my writing strikes me more forcefully after I read others. It is then when I am made to realise the huge gap between what I want to say and how it actually comes out in words. All the good writers seem to have this felicity to express their feelings (or thoughts) in words. It appears that very little is “lost in writing”, although, ultimately it is for the writer himself to judge this. Fortunately, the reader has no way of knowing what is it that the writer wanted to write about. And how effectively he succeeded in committing his thoughts to paper.

I have realised that one of the reasons that I write is to try and bridge this gap between my thinking and the words I choose to communicate it (for whose benefit I do not know). It is not as if I feel that the thoughts requiring articulation are original. I do believe fairly strongly that there can be only so much of original thought in this world. If originality was a criterion for being published (and sold in numbers), there would be very few works worthy of publication. Is it therefore a matter of presentation?. In case of fiction, this should be the case. Since I do not fictionalise, the substance should have more prominence than the form. I fail then on both counts. Neither am I original nor am I clever with my non-original thoughts.

Is it the hope that by writing more, I will keep improving both my writing and my thinking. Writing maybe, but thinking ??. No evidence so far to support this.

So, I write without knowing why I write. No denying that it gives me satisfaction. I will also confess that I would like people to read what I write. Does not matter if they agree or not. In fact, a little disagreement will not hurt.

Frustrating ……

January 29, 2010

The first Grand Slam of the new decade, The Australian Open, 2010 is drawing to a close. As an Indian, there was precious little to cheer about. Hopefully, as a Roger Federer fan, there will be lots. As I post, Fedex is getting ready to commence his match with Tsonga.

Catching glimpses of the ladies’ half of the tournament, it was difficult not to wonder at the strides that tennis, and in particular, women’s tennis has made in China. With some more luck, it could have been an all Chinese women’s singles final. And our own Sania Mirza made her customary exit in the first round. Ironically, as the Chinese girls were working their way up through the draw, Sania was in the headlines, at least of Yahoo! India for having broken up her engagement. Yahoo! considered this bit of tripe to be more news worthy relevance to the Indian audience than the fact that Nadal had made his exit from the tournament. Does say a lot about our news quotient.

It was not so long ago that Sania was the toast of the country. She was running the Williams sisters close in marquee tournaments. Pundits were predicting a top 20 ranking for her. The country was expectant. The number of times she appeared on television (sadly in TV spots and not on prime time tennis) suggested that she had arrived. As it happens so often in Indian sport, she turned out to be yet another meteorite. Selling herself way too short and content with the perks of her fleeting success. Unlike Leander who left no one in doubt about his hunger for achievement, in the case of Sania, Indian tennis fans cannot be faulted for wondering if she even gave it her all.

On the other hand, the persistent rise of the Chinese women and Federer’s reign at the top tell us what could have been. Ignoring the patriotism that makes me cheer for the Indian cricket team, I have always supported the sporting underdog. It was always McEnroe, the upstart when he arrived to challenge the champion Borg, always Sabatini as strove “manfully ” to lay Steffi low, always Senna as he set out to decimate Prost, never Tiger as he scythed through the rest of the field. But in the case of Federer, in spite of his virtual hegemony, I continue to root for him. Considering all that he has achieved in the last decade or so, it is amazing that he still finds the motivation to, forgetting everything else, even turn up for these slams. My admiration for him has turned to something bordering on respect and the only other sportsman who commands this from me is Sachin. When there are such stories so close at hand to draw inspiration from, what is it that stops fellow sportsmen to be similarly inspired. What is it that stops Indian sportsmen with obvious talent from reaching the top of the ladder. I was reading Michael Jeh’s post on cricinfo where he refers to the rapid strides made by Aussie U19s in general after a certain point in their evolution as cricketers, and in the process leave the other Asian U19s far behind ; inspite of having significantly lagged behind the Asian in terms of sheer talent. He is not alone in his inability to solve this puzzle. But for the notable exceptions of China, Japan and the Koreas none of the Asian countries have a history of sustained domination in any sport. In a few cases, as is with hockey, the rise of the other countries has coincided with the precipitous fall of erstwhile Asian super powers like India and Pakistan. The tragedy of this state of affairs is compounded when you consider that, at least here in India, there is a full fledged Ministry under the Central Government whose job it is to oversee the development of sport in the country.

The relative “non-success” of sportsmen like Narain Karthikeyan also lays low the excuse of lack of economic resources for excellence in the sporting arena. Karthikeyan came from as privileged a background as one could expect to come from, in a statistical sense, in a country like ours. If this is indeed a valid excuse, I would submit that we wind up all sports related activities and focus on building economic wealth and subsequently try our hand at creating champion athletes. The rest of the world can wait. For a country that fails to attain world class standards at almost everything that it does, is it not avarice to be expecting our sportsmen to be world class performers.

Australia’s Under-19 marvel

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