Monday, September 08, 2008

On billiards

While following the news that Pankaj Advani had beaten Geet Sethi to become the new World Champion in Billiards, I noticed that the players ( at least Sethi) were in extremely formal attire. Cricket is often criticized for its ‘flannelled fools”, but billiards players wear waist-coats and bow-ties! Probably because it is an indoor sport and was extensively played in exclusive clubs that had stringent dress codes for gentlemen.

But, Geet Sethi’s attire was of his own choice. The World Pool-Billiards Association dress code merely says:

Men may wear a regular collared shirt or polo shirt of any color. Shirt or polo shirt must be tucked in. It must be in a good condition and clean. No T-shirts are allowed. The shirt must have at least a short sleeve. Dress pants will be clean and in good condition and may be of any color. Denim/blue jeans of any color are forbidden even though a jeans design is allowed. Shoes must be elegant dress shoes that fit in the outfit. Sneakers and sandals are not allowed.

No mention of jackets and bow-ties.

The intense concentration on Sethi’s face when he plays his shots! Like Arjuna taking a shot at the model of the bird on the tree.

I remember a short story ( I found the link) where a marshall and a captain would be engaged in a game of billiards, while their army, benumbed by fatigue and facing a dangerous enemy would be tensely awaiting orders from them. No orders come and the army is wiped out, for “when the marshall had begun his game, the heavens might fall, but nothing in the world could prevent him from finishing it.”

No comments: