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.


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.