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Friday, April 8, 2011

Critics- 'Dis' Approved?

Theodore Roosevelt had very famously said once,

"It is not the critic who counts not the man who points out how strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood..who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly."

Now if everybody had thought like Roosevelt and made the world a much more bearable place to live in, we would have certainly unearthed some exquisite talent in every other reticent person we meet, thereby showcasing the inevitable fact that we are all born to perform some miracle in this life before taking a bow from it.

To err is humane, to forgive is divine, but many of my friends would counterblast this statement rather nonchalantly reflecting their undeserving arrogance, "We are not God. And do not want to be one." Why are we too quick at judging someone and their abilities, when we ourselves are anything but perfect and perfectly virtuous!

Another queer yet interesting discovery in most cases are, critics are almost always the ones who have never tried their hands at picking the swords themselves. To me, a critic is nothing short of an archaic Roman witnessing a gladiators bid for survival in the Colosseum and in life, just to fight another day, or maybe even lesser. If anybody is bothered about honesty and art perhaps they should pin point out what exactly can be rectified a next time instead of giving away wanton verdicts from a quasi intellectual mind via a sharp tongue. We need honest guidance, not rude words or inflated assumptions. We don't have time for that because we are busy working for acceptance and if you can help with that, kindly bring it on.

Every human has a spark in them that is waiting to be ignited and controlled so that the hearth can be warmed and not get the roof burnt down. And if you do not like the idea of a fire kindly do not bother adding further fuel to it with your ignorance.

Remember, we are not greater than The Creator who supposedly judges every mortal only at the end of one's game.

Thank you Teddy Dear!


  1. Very correctly put. As someone said, critics are the bottom-feeders of any craft. Take their words with a pinch of salt, compare them with your gut feeling, and then toss them. Often, their words could conceal anything from bluff to envy, with incomprehension being the least of the devils.

  2. Reading this work of yours just reminded me of Rilke who famously in his letters to a young poet said
    “… And let me here promptly make a request: read as little as possible of aesthetic criticism— such things are either partisan views, petrified and grown senseless in their lifeless induration, or they are clever quibblings in which today one view wins and tomorrow the opposite. Works of art are of an infinite loneliness and with nothing so little to be reached as with criticism. Only love can grasp and hold and be just to them."

    The idea of not allowing one to be innundated by criticism is to block the noise which seems to divert us, take us away from what calls from within the words, which will not be reached through noise, neither a grope in the darkness but has to be persevered with, has to be allowed to be grown inside and at times critics stop this process. But it would not mean that they really do not have a place as Kabir would have said "Keep a critic near you all the time and without a soap and water they will cleanse your soul"...now that's another aspect of a critic who helps in maintaining that dialogue with ourselves, to seek out that external when the moments of internal are bound in confusion...but this seeking out is always seeking in