16 January, 2021


How can 85-year-old doddering idiots, who can neither lift nor string a Gandiva, head the Archery Federation for 30 and even 50 years.

Illustration by Saahil

Heaven is too quiet these days. Friend and fellow guru Kripacharya and even my stormy petrel son Aswathhama agree with me that we could do with some life. Life is boring that even Browning’s  ‘O to be in England, now that April’s there...’ sounds appealing. Then a thought struck me and I rushed to Kripacharya to quote a revised version of Browning: ‘O to be in India, now that archery is honoured there’. Poor Kripa is a bit slow on the uptake these days but soon joined the fun.

O, we had some of the greatest archers in the world and universe. Why crib? Where were the greatest archers after Arjuna, Karna and their famous gurus? The mantle passed on to the vilayatis, one Robin Hood in England, one William Tell in Switzerland who could shoot and bring down an apple from the head of a boy some 75 metres away. Alas, after those days of archer-suitors, India produ­ced no heroes in archery and the position got worse day by day. They showed us great heroes and gurus in something called movies, made us laughing stocks. Our bows and...



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