मेघदूत: "नीचैर्गच्छत्युपरि च दशा चक्रनेमिक्रमेण"

G C Lichtenberg: “It is as if our languages were confounded: when we want a thought, they bring us a word; when we ask for a word, they give us a dash; and when we expect a dash, there comes a piece of bawdy.”

Friedrich Nietzsche: “Everybody wants the same, everybody is the same: whoever feels different goes voluntarily into a madhouse.”

Martin Amis: “Gogol is funny, Tolstoy in his merciless clarity is funny, and Dostoyevsky, funnily enough, is very funny indeed; moreover, the final generation of Russian literature, before it was destroyed by Lenin and Stalin, remained emphatically comic — Bunin, Bely, Bulgakov, Zamyatin. The novel is comic because life is comic (until the inevitable tragedy of the fifth act);...”

Werner Herzog: “We are surrounded by worn-out, banal, useless and exhausted images, limping and dragging themselves behind the rest of our cultural evolution.”

John Gray: "Unlike Schopenhauer, who lamented the human lot, Leopardi believed that the best response to life is laughter. What fascinated Schopenhauer, along with many later writers, was Leopardi’s insistence that illusion is necessary to human happiness."

Justin E.H. Smith: “One should of course take seriously serious efforts to improve society. But when these efforts fail, in whole or in part, it is only humor that offers redemption. So far, human expectations have always been strained, and have always come, give or take a bit, to nothing. In this respect reality itself has the form of a joke, and humor the force of truth.”

विलास सारंग: "… . . 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."

Thursday, August 16, 2018

R K Laxman on A B Vajpayee and L K Advani Friendship

#ABVajpayee #VajpayeeAdvaniFriendship

L K Advani published his autobiographical book 'My Country My Life" in 2008. 

This is great R K Laxman's take on the book....the guy sitting in the chair is supposedly Vajpayee.....this is one of the best cartoons I have seen....

Artist: R K Laxman, The Times of India, March 27 2008

क्रिकेटच्या मैदानावर ते....The Joy Ajit Wadekar Gave To Me


"तुम्ही अवतरले गोकुळी आम्ही गोपाळांच्या मेळी
तुम्ही होते रामराजा आम्ही वानरांच्या फौजा"

"तुम्ही अवतरले वेस्टइंडीजी आम्ही तुमच्या फॅनमेळी
तुम्ही होते इंग्लंडचे राजा आम्ही  वानरांच्या फौजा"

एका ठराविक वर्षाच्या नंतर जन्माला आलेल्या भारतीयांना अजित वाडेकरांचे महत्व कदाचित समजणार नाही.

१९७१-७२ काळातील अभूतपूर्व विजयी अशा टेस्ट क्रिकेट टीमचे कॅप्टन, बॅट्समन आणि फिल्डर तर ते होतेच, पण त्यांचा दबदबा माझ्या सारख्या रणजी ट्रॉफी फॉलो करणाऱ्या लोकांमध्ये केंव्हापासूनच होता.

१९६९ साली ऑस्ट्रेलिया विरुद्धच्या दिल्लीमधील संस्मरणीय विजयात त्यांची  कामगिरी मोठी होती.  मी ९ वर्षाचा होतो आणि माझ्या आयुष्यातील एक सर्वोच्च आनंदाचा तो क्षण होता, अजूनही आहे.

वाडेकर यांच्या अजून दोन-तीन खाजगी अशा आठवणी आहेत.

मिरजेला त्यांचे १९७२-७३ साली रोटरी-लायन असे कुठेतरी भाषण झाले होते आणि मी ते बऱ्यापैकी जवळून ऐकले होते. त्यांनी संयोजकांना विचारले की मराठीत बोलू की इंग्लिश. त्यांना इंग्लिश चॉईस देण्यात आला. कुठंही गर्व नाही, नर्म विनोदी पद्धतीने , मिश्किल चेहरा ठेवून त्यांनी छान भाषण केले होते. त्यांनी जितेंद्र सारखी घातलेली अत्यंत टाईट नॅरो बॉटम पॅण्ट अजून आठवते.

वाडेकर स्टेट बँक ऑफ इंडिया मध्ये नोकरीला होते. १९७१-१९७३ च्या सुमारास त्यांच्या बँकेने शाळेतील मुलांसाठी बँक खाते काढण्याची योजना सुरु केली होती. मी त्यात उत्साहाने खाते सुरु केले कारण प्रत्येकाला वाडेकरांच्या सहीची कॉपी असलेल, बॅटसारख दिसणार, प्लास्टिकच पेन मिळणार होत. तो पेन मिळालेला दिवस आजही आठवतोय. ते पेन मी न वापरता कित्येक वर्षे जपून ठेवले होते. बँक खात सुद्धा मी मिरज सोडेपर्यंत , १९८४, चालू होत. 

माझ्या आत्याने मला त्यांचे अनुवादित आत्मचरित्रात्मक पुस्तक १९७२ साली दिले होते - त्याचे शीर्षक होते : "क्रिकेटच्या मैदानावर मी"... आता ते फार मोठ्या मैदानावर खेळायला  गेले आहेत....

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

डिटॉक्सड नागपंचमी.... An Epidemic of Wellness Reaches Snakes

आज श्रावण शुद्ध पंचमी शके १९४० 

Lara Prendergast, The Spectator, August 2018:
“...Men are being led to believe that their masculinity is a problem. Their rapacious pursuit of pleasure has damaged the world around them, they are told — and it’s up to them to curb their appetites. Women have had enough.
For an example of an unacceptable male appetite, look at the US President. Donald J. Trump is held up as a symbol of all male vice, with his pussy-grabbing and his populism. A serial womaniser and fast-food addict, he’s a greedy man. Harvey Weinstein, another #MeToo villain, is invariably described as a fat slob who was addicted to sex, fizzy drinks and bad food. They have become symbols of ‘toxic masculinity’. Is it any wonder that many young men are starting to look for ways to, as that dieting cliché goes, ‘detox’ their masculinity — in order to distance themselves from monsters like this?...”

Artist: Robert Thompson, The Spectator, UK, April 2018

Sunday, August 12, 2018

The late Shri. Naipaul On Mahatma Gandhi and Most Indians


(There are multiple posts on VSN on this blog, created over the years....search the blog using google- naipaul site:searchingforlaugh.blogspot.com-  to reach them)

V S Naipaul on Dr. B R Ambedkar’s birth anniversary celebration in Mumbai, “India A Million Mutinies Now”, 1990:
"...There had, indeed, been a religious stillness about the people in the line. They had been like people gaining merit through doing the right thing. The Dr Ambedkar idea made sense of the flags and the emblems of which I had had a memory. The people I had seen were honouring their leader, their saint, their deity; and by this they were honouring themselves as well..."

V S Naipaul on Pakistan, 'Beyond Belief: Islamic Excursions Among the Converted Peoples', 1981:
 “...It was Muslim insecurity that led to the call for the creation of Pakistan. It went at the same time with an idea of old glory, of the invaders sweeping down from the northwest and looting the temples of Hindustan and imposing the faith on the infidel. The fantasy still lives; and for the Muslim converts of the subcontinent it is the start of their neurosis, because in this fantasy the convert forgets who or what he is and becomes the violator. It is as though—switching continents—the indigenous people of Mexico and Peru were to side with Cortés and Pizarro and the Spaniards as the bringers of the true faith..."

दुर्गा भागवत:
"...मानवी अंतरंग असो किंवा बाह्य सृष्टी असो, प्रकृतीचे आकलन, तेही सूक्ष्म असल्याशिवाय, कल्पना उंचावत नाहीत, भावना संयत होत नाहीत. विभूषित होत नाहीत. आणि म्हणूनच फुलपाखरांचा अभाव हा भारतीय साहित्याच्या अनेक अभांवाचा प्रातिनिधिक अभाव आहे असे मला वाटते… "

Artist: Unknown to me; courtesy: The Spectator, UK  2007

V S Naipaul: “The outer world matters only in so far as it affects the inner. It is the Indian way of experiencing…”

"...And this is how, in his autobiography, The Story of My Experiments with Truth, written nearly forty years later, when he had become the Mahatma, Gandhi remembers the great adventure (the translation is by his secretary, Mahadev Desai):

I did not feel at all sea-sick … I was innocent of the use of knives and forks … I therefore never took meals at table but always had them in my cabin, and they consisted principally of sweets and fruits I had brought with me … We entered the Bay of Biscay, but I did not begin to feel the need either of meat or liquor … However, we reached Southampton, as far as I remember, on a Saturday. On the boat I had worn a black suit, the white flannel one, which my friends had got me, having been kept especially for wearing when I landed. I had thought that white clothes would suit me better when I stepped ashore, and therefore I did so in white flannels. Those were the last days of September, and I found I was the only person wearing such clothes.

That is the voyage: an internal adventure of anxieties felt and food eaten, with not a word of anything seen or heard that did not directly affect the physical or mental well-being of the writer. The inward concentration is fierce, the self-absorption complete. Southampton is lost in that embarrassment (and rage) about the white flannels. The name of the port is mentioned once, and that is all, as though the name is description enough. That it was late September was important only because it was the wrong time of the year for white flannels; it is not a note about the weather. Though Gandhi spent three years in England, there is nothing in his autobiography about the climate or the seasons, so unlike the heat and monsoon of Gujarat and Bombay; and the next date he is precise about is the date of his departure.

No London building is described, no street, no room, no crowd, no public conveyance. The London of 1890, capital of the world – which must have been overwhelming to a young man from a small Indian town – has to be inferred from Gandhi’s continuing internal disturbances, his embarrassments, his religious self-searchings, his attempts at dressing correctly and learning English manners, and, above all, his difficulties and occasional satisfactions about food...."

('India: A Wounded Civilization', 1976)

courtesy: cover artist and the publisher

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Freezing Egg....Not Career But Lack of a Stable Partner

Olivia Petter, Independent, UK, July 2 2018:
“Women are freezing their eggs due to a “lack of stable partners”, new research suggests.
Despite claims that egg-freezing derives from a desire to delay childbirth and prioritise careers, the study found that not being in a secure relationship is the primary motivation for women freezing their eggs today...
... The findings go against the idea that social egg freezing primarily appeals to women wanting to prioritise their careers”

“I’m thinking about freezing my eggs.” 

Artist: Charlie Hanki, The New Yorker, January 2016

Monday, August 06, 2018

पुन्हा कध्धी, कध्धी अमेरिकेला धमकावू नका ...America Means Business and God's On Her Side!

President Trump recently tweeted:


Bob Dylan:


But now we got weapons

Of the chemical dust

If fire them we're forced to

Then fire them we must

One push of the button

And a shot the world wide

And you never ask questions

When God's on your side.


 “The enemies of America will know that we mean business when we sell them a fleet of these sweet babies.”

Artist: Paul Noth, The New Yorker, October 2015

“Look, just nuke them and build something terrific.” 

Artist: Paul Noth, The New Yorker, September 2015