Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Art and the Artist

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Playing cricket is perhaps very different from playing music. However, good cricketer is probably a good artiste much like a good musician. A good cricketer appreciates the honor and applause of his excellence much like a musician perhaps does. The motivation to please and be appreciated must rank quite high. Both these motivations are noble. However, when the audience stops appreciating one’s music, does one stop playing? Or does a poor player continue to play music though he knows that his notes are flawed?
Both are difficult questions to answer. An artiste true to his art form and one that finds art to be a spiritual pursuit might choose to stop playing when he is not striking the right notes. He might choose to do so despite audience clamor for more. He might view playing music despite flaws as being akin to blasphemy. Yet others might continue to provide happiness to their dwindling numbers of fans. Several aging rock stars and bands come to mind when I think of this scenario. And yet more artists, actors and sportsmen come to mind when I think of those who left the scene leaving only a memory of pure and high class.
Sachin Tendulkar’s continuing saga led me to think about this. I find it hard to justify my desire to push him into retirement. And I also find it hard to believe that there are people who are willing to continue to listen to bad music. Lata Mangeshkar is a great example of someone who sang past her prime and diminished herself in the eyes of many. Yet there were equal or more numbers of people willing to forgive these musical flaws for a chance to keep listening to her.
When fans are devoted to the musician rather than the music, this is likely to happen. But then there’s probably nothing wrong in being devoted to the musician instead of the music. We bloggers may state an opinion and take sides but that’s it.

Maybe this is why we see the division among cricket fans between those that want Tendulkar to continue playing and those that want him to retire. Tendulkar fans may be less interested in the success of the team when he has not contributed. Maybe they care less about watching cricket when he is not playing. Maybe they find other batsmen like Cook and Pujara boring in comparison. I have no idea. I'm simply speculating.

And those that truly desire that Indian cricket evolve into its new avatar quickly, so that we know whether they can go head to head once again with the elite teams, may be wanting him to retire. There is a huge amount of interest in people to see Pujara, Kohli and others play. The crowds at Mumbai and Kolkatta bear testimony to that.

And so it goes on and on....

The interesting thing is that neither side is wanting the selectors to axe him. In that there appears to be a consensus. That the man of such huge accomplishments must be given the space to call time on his career.

1 comment:

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I think that your post clearly develops that idea of the similarities and especially the differences between the art and artist, well done buddy!