I have fascinated by the phrase, great Homer sometimes nods. This was an idiom often used when I was learning English in high school to indicate that even great people sometimes make mistakes. The Wikipedia page regarding this phrase has all sorts of interesting tidbits.

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Homer_nods

It is instructive, in this regard, to watch great cricketers and great musicians past their prime, playing from memory. We extrapolate from their mistakes to a different era. It opens up possibilities in our imagination, that are not possible in reality. I watched VV Kumar bowl, at age past 60, with a dodgy knee to boot. Leg breaks, flippers and googlies flowed from him with a barely noticeable change to his beautifully classical action. What spin, flight, loop, bite and guile the man possessed. I only wonder how he must have bowled in his prime. The mental extrapolation leaves one with wondrous thoughts to pass an idle day or a sleepless night.

Recently, I listened to this concert by the great violinist TN Krishnan, indisposed by ill health and at age past 80. A beautiful concert, starts out with some (minor) Sruthi lapses, (who am I to point this out, especially in a culture which demands utmost reverence towards musicians). But as they say, what “soukhyam” to his playing.

Advertisements