A First Post and the Anti-Gandhian

  • karatala (kara and tala) is the Sanskrit word for the palm of your hand. aamalaka is the Indian gooseberry, phyllanthus emblica. ‘karatalaamalaka’ refers to clutching a gooseberry in your palm. The phrase is used as a metaphor for having a thorough grasp of things, often of abstract nature. In this blog, I intend to write about these metaphorical berries that I think I hold in my hands.
  • The header photo is Pablo Picasso’s Guernica
  • I’ll improvise on a comment I made on my Facebook profile about how I find American Football boring. I hope to enlighten people like a wet blanket on a Surathkal summer afternoon. This post is significant considering that sheep and other such fans of American football will be sitting in the glare of what is supposedly the biggest TV spectacle of the year and in the brutal excitement, spilling beer, junk food and mustard sauce on their t shirts. I wonder how people get supreme pleasure in seeing huge people contact-sporting each other to pulp. It is the ultimate Anti-Gandhian, a glorification of violence, Budweiser and general decadence. Most of us desis cannot play this game, we are too Gandhian. Contact sports aren’t for us, if you count out the guys from Bhiwani and the girls from Manipur. And what is the fun in following a game that you can’t play?
  • By the way, I also think American football is as good or bad as WWE. Both are violent. In one, the violence occurs between entities calling themselves Cardinals, Steelers, Bengals, Packers and other such silly-tudes. The other occurs between the Undertaker, Macho-man, Heartbreak Kid. You call WWE Juvenile? And American football happens to be mature, eh?

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
(And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,)
Hold it as a Gooseberry in the palm of your hand,
And pickle it for an hour.


Photo courtesy: http://narpatiherbs.com/

2 responses to “A First Post and the Anti-Gandhian

  1. It’s very apt of you call American Football as Anti-Gandhian, for historically speaking – it’s based off of the ‘art’ of German warfare (you often hear about ‘blitz’, taken from the phrase ‘blitzkrieg’). Part of its popularity comes from one of the several factors:

    0. It’s one of the few games where offense gets to make incremental progress, failing which they will give up their possession to the other team.

    1. Because of the war philosophy, it yields itself for different offensive & defensive formations as well as trickery (called the ‘gadget/trick plays) that defies common game-sense.

    2. Because of incremental progress philosophy, it fits very well into the ‘commercial breaks’ philosophy in television broadcasting.

    3. As meaningless as the collisions look/feel like, there is an inexplicable aesthetic beauty to the spiral of the football in air. And trust me, the ‘art’ of throwing a good, tight spiral is by no means trivial. And so are the equations of motion describing that flight 🙂


  2. To irritate you a bit more, why follow sports on tv when you can actually play them? who the hell cares about some people playing on tv and making money? it is just entertainment. they go thru all that exercise and training for our entertainment.

    in that sense, american football is excellent entertainment.

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