Sunday, July 19, 2009

On memorabilia

“Flamboyant Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi's World Twenty20 jersey will soon find a rack at the historic Lord's Museum in London as MCC has requested the cricketer to donate his shirt for display says a news report today.

I have never understood the rationale behind such museum pieces. I came across a glass case once in some museum in Europe, that contained Napoleon’s hair (one hair). How do we know it really belonged to Napoleon, or even if it did, so what? What purpose did it serve lying in that glass case?

Same with Gandhi’s spectacles or his slippers. He might have been a great man, but his greatness would not have rubbed off on his glasses or dripped down to his slippers. These inanimate objects could not have acquired his aura. So, why all the fuss?

I watched a Grand Slam match on TV a few years back. After winning the match, Andre Agassi hit a couple of tennis balls into the stand, and they were grabbed eagerly. Then he removed his T-shirt and threw that too. There was a mad scramble, till one of the spectators emerged victorious with the spoils. What he would do with that smelly T-shirt is more than I can comprehend.

10 comments:

Ottayan said...

Ir is for those who live vicariously.

Rachna said...

sentimental reasons is all I'd say. People cling to "this belonged to my great grandmother" for the same reason unless it is made out of gold and is worth a fortune :)

Shalini said...

Not all people are as non-sentimental as some others are.
To live on eternally through these relics is their mantra I guess.

Raj said...

Ottayan,that's a possibility

Rachna: Why does one get sentimental about a jersey some player was wearing when he scored a century?

Shalini: I can accept sentimentality with functionality attached. For example, if one of the reasons for Tendulkar's batsmanship is the superior quality of the bat that he uses, I wouldn't mind getting his bat.

Shalini said...

You might give any reason for possessing Tendulkar's bat.Yet you want to possess it, No? That is the crux of the issue. People might give different reasons and justify their reason for reasons best known to them.

Rachna said...

Well, depends upon the importance of that event or person to you.

Balajisblog said...

Raj - T shirt...bat..I can see some value as memorabilia. What beats me is the incident involving a mad scramble for a half eaten apple by Silk Smitha....now that one is difficult to explain !

Raj said...

Shalini, I see your point.

Rachna, I may like the person but why should I want his jersey?

Balaji: Maybe there is some functionality in that example of yours....

Rachna said...

Raj, I savour the sarees worn by my late mother. I guess it is my way of feeling close to her, to feel her presence around me. Difficult to explain but with passions you can never say. I don't feel the same way for strangers' things but I guess it must be the same emotion for those who hanker after them.

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