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in our society, we've been presented with a lot of information. some of it is relevant and dictates our behavior and plans, even creating us through our submission to the intellectual workings of knowledge and convenience.
but sometimes, through no fault of anything or anyone, things go awry. for instance, if i were to ask you what the aphoristic pin point in the play 'oedipus rex' was you might be societally inclined to say that the whole "killing your dad and having sex-matrimony with your mother" is probably the moral crux of the play.
and we can thank herr freud for that ponderous interpretation of one man's narrative tragedy.
but wouldn't we be missing the real point? wouldn't all that skanky, dirty-ass, nasty mind-porn imagery hurt people who thought about the play as being based on this "syndrome"?
we know that jim morrison based some lyrics in one of his songs on this play. i couldn't help noticing during my college and grad school work years how many people seemed very enmeshed with this interpretation. kind of like how so many people believe in the theory of evolution even though it is the most ridiculous piece of intelligent reasoning since creationism. now we can add the dribble that the "big bang = chaos" theory has brought with its arrival...
but i think the aphoristic meaning in this story is different than that. i find it hard, especially when considering greek theater, to imagine that the central aphoristic meaning would be invested only in the latter part of the play. it shows up earlier and then plays out its refrains. it is found in the foundation of the play.
and shakespeare does a big nod up to it in "his" play "a winter's tale", which follows a different outcome to mr. rex's blind end.
anyway, the point, then, is something that takes place in the beginning. from this perspective, the crux comes with the prophecy that the son will kill the father. the son will take away the father-king's power and place and all his belongings, which include his wife.
when the king hears this, he decides that he will kill the child. but he leaves this step to his faithful and trusted advisor, who of course botches the act because he doesn't want to dirty his own hands -- let the wild earth kill the child!!!
so here is the lesson. this is the aphorisitc crux of the story:
if you're going to try to outwit the prophets and destiny, DO YOUR OWN DIRTY WORK. don't leave it to someone else. be braver. be bolder. don't be the person who wields the knife and then finds out the meaning of blood shy. and don't be like the biblical archetype abraham who also attempts to slay his own son and then backs out at the last second, makes up a fantastical god-intervention story (can we say deus ex machina ?), and races off to found an intelligence dynasty based on his cowardice and need to band together. instead, be a trigger-puller in your life not a finger-pointer.
it's more fun to take pride in your actions than to have regrets about your past. please note that i'm not sure child "sacrifice" is an appropriate past time and it's odd that both of these stories include it, so it must've been something a bit trendier than it is here in our culture...
but let's get central again. this is about "stepping up to the plate." it's about "puttin' some man into your step." it's about the ancient and separatist ideas regarding gender, function and place.
this is about allowing a lifetime of a young man's life take place in another country before he returns to cut you down at the cross roads. this is about turning the knife on the prophet. but it you can't do that, than you better get ready to kill your child, the fountain of your mortality.
seriously, we all KNOW that if that king/father had killed his son outright at a public execution/sacrifice, the prophets would have become much more powerful. fearing the power of the prophets so much that he wants to evade their prophecy in private, the king shies out. he commissions another man to kill his son. bad choice!! but the prophets get the last laugh even then. who cares, that was a long time ago.
now, i think the aphorism begs the question of each of us in the post "inner-child" era, being both king and child, we all know this, how are we killing ourselves by making choices to avoid being killed by our inner child?
everyone i see on the streets and everyone i know personally, well, they have EVERYTHING. many of them are struggling with the idea of downgrading or upgrading the "value on their" EVERYTHING, but they still will have EVERYTHING and more.
why are we so obsessed with having EVERYTHING better? it's sheer tyranny to want more when you already have enough. it's physical punishment to eat food when you are not hungry. it's mentally hazardous to look at mon
Muscle Men of Mysore - KUSTI
Pahelwan Satish and Chandrashekar wait for their turn as they watch their friends wrestle.
It’s a holy practice to worship Lord Hanuman before wrestling. Two wrestlers now meet at the centre of the pit. They shake hands and begin to prepare their stance against each other. Arms tackle each other, bodies rub against each other. Each person attempts to make the opponent lose his balance and hurl him down on the pit. The sweat and oil on the bodies makes it difficult. The wrestlers throw a handful of mud on the opponents back to aid him to have a tighter grip. Heavy breathing and grunts like that of an angry lion echoes in the room. The wrestlers take a break and the next pair of wrestlers step into the pit. The regime ends with some aerobic exercises and the lifting of stone weights. They practice like this twice a day, early mornings and evenings. The passive part of the regime is sleep. Sleep is an integral part of their regime and it’s never compromised. The sport is so rigorous and strenious that they need to rest for over ten hours every day.
Muscle Men of Mysore - now wrestling to survive
Mystical Gods employed dhanurveda (archery) to vanquish the evil. Several years later we see bows and arrows as an exotic art. A sport with machismo. Kalarippayattu , Malla yuddha or Kushti (wrestling combat), vajra mushti (lightning fist) and many more were passed down several generations. Very few still view it as an honorable sport from the ancient times, from Ramayana and Mahabharata.
Long ago in Mysore, when the trendy gyms never existed, the royal kings were the key patrons of this form of sport. Wrestling or kusthi was thoroughly enjoyed by the people and the pahelwans were even recruited in the army.
Most of these garadis have common aesthetic charm in the way it was built. A shady pipal tree, a small portico for practice and a well are the signature features of any akhada or garadi. Earth, Air, water and trees form the soul of the garadi. The walls of the garadi are decorated with the bold, colorful paintings of Lord Hanuman, Garuda and other dramatic scenes from Hindu mythology. The garadi is essentially a shrine dedicated to Lord Hanuman or Anjaneya. He is looked upon the as the God of Courage and Physical Strength.
Mysore was once a city that housed over 100 garadis, but there are only about 40 remaining now in which a handful are actively involved in wrestling, Most of these crumble down to give way to modern gyms.
I was overwhelmed by their sheer dedication and meticulous practice they put in to save the dying sport. Each one of them had a different profession ranging from being a timber merchant, banana vendor, book binder etc. Wrestling matches have become rare events these days. There are no calendars marked with match dates but even then these muscle men devote time and patience towards the sport. However, due to the lack of patrons, their dedication is not being recognized.
All that these wrestlers ask for are regular bouts every month in order to sow the seeds of interest in the people towards the sport. They have invested their time and energy to save the sport from being driven into oblivion. It is about time that people like us give them their due credit before yet another tradition vanishes in thin air.
This is my attempt in reviving the original sport of India, Kushti.
Location : Mysore, India
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