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.”

Albert Einstein: “I am content in my later years. I have kept my good humor and take neither myself nor the next person seriously.” (To P. Moos, March 30, 1950. Einstein Archives 60-587)

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, June 21, 2018

सदानंद रेगे आणि प्लटेरो गाढव....Sadanand Rege@95

आज जून २१, २०१८, सदानंद रेगेंची ९५वी जन्मतिथी आहे. 

वौन रॅमॉन हिमेनेस  (Juan Ramón Jiménez) या साहित्य नोबेल पुरस्कृत लेखकाच्या 'प्लटेरो यय ओ' कविता संग्रहातील (lyric prose) काही कवितांचा अनुवाद  सदानंद रेगेंनी 'वाङ्मय शोभा' , ऑक्टोबर १९५८ च्या अंकासाठी केला.

प्लटेरो हे एका गाढवाच नाव आहे.

विकिपीडिया सांगत:
"small donkey, a soft, hairy donkey: so soft to the touch that he might be said to be made of cotton, with no bones. Only the jet mirrors of his eyes are hard like two black crystal scarabs."

रेगे सांगतात:

Monday, June 18, 2018

Joan of Arc 1412-1431, Rani of Jhansi 1828-1858...How Did They Really Look?

 #RaniOfJhansi #RaniOfJhansi160thDeathAnniversary

Today June 18 2018 is 160th death anniversary of Rani of Jhansi

When I saw this attractive looking, Wonder-woman-alike Joan of Arc , I started wondering if she really looked anything like this

Artist: Albert Lynch (1851-1912)

Kathryn Harrison writes in 'Joan of Arc: A Life Transfigured', 2014:

"...We have no verifiable likeness of Joan and little physical description. Portraits made during her lifetime, including her profile pressed into, as stated in the trial record, “medals of lead or other metal in her likeness, like those made for the anniversaries of saints canonized by the Church,” would have been destroyed in the wake of her execution, no longer devotional objects but devil’s play. The single surviving contemporaneous image of Joan is the work of a man who never saw her, more doodle than drawing...

...The Duke of Alençon, who, like others of Joan’s comrades-in-arms, “slept on the straw” with her and had occasion to see her disrobe, praised her young body as beautiful, quickly adding that he “never had any carnal desire for her” and attributing the failure to Joan’s ability to banish the lust of any who might admire her, a power to which other men in her company bore witness. “Although she was a young girl, beautiful and shapely,” her squire, Jean d’Aulon, said, and he “strong, young, and vigorous,” and though in the course of dressing her and caring for her wounds he had “often seen her breasts, and … her legs quite bare,” never was his “body moved to any carnal desire for her.”...

...Given a blank canvas, many of the painters who have taken Joan as a subject summoned a comely blonde, more Valkyrie than French paysanne, just as they fabricated features for the equally unknown face of Jesus, every portrait not only homage but also projection. The hero must always be handsome and the heroine beautiful, attended by light, not dark, to reveal the perfection virtue demands. The black robe in which a witch could expect to be burned is almost without exception whitewashed for Joan,  more often depicted in her glory, a majestic figure clad in shining armor and mounted on a white horse. To avoid revealing the immodest outline of a woman’s legs, the painted Joan’s armor tends, like a bodice, to terminate at her waist; from it flows a skirt usually originating under an incongruous peplum fashioned of plate mail..."

Saul David, 'The Indian Mutiny', 2002:

"...One Briton, who met her in 1854, wrote: ‘Her face must have been very handsome when she was younger, and even now it had many charms . . . The eyes were particularly fine, and the nose very delicately shaped . . . Her dress was a plain white muslin, so fine in texture, and drawn about her in such a way, and so tightly, that the outline of her figure was plainly discernible — and a remarkably fine figure she had. What spoilt her was her voice, which was something between a whine and a croak.’ (Lang, Wanderings in India, 93-4.)...
...At the time of her death, so General Rose told the Duke of Cambridge, the Rani was ‘dressed in a red jacket, red trousers and white puggary’. She was also wearing ‘the celebrated pearl necklace of Scindia, which she had taken from his Treasury, and heavy gold anklets’. Rose added: ‘As she lay mortally wounded in her Tent she ordered these ornaments to be distributed amongst her Troops; it is said that Tantia Topee intercepted the necklace. The whole rebel army mourned for her; her body was burned with great ceremony under a tamarind tree under the Rock of Gwalior, where I saw her bones and ashes.’...
... ‘The Ranee was remarkable for her beauty, cleverness and perseverance,’ wrote General Rose, ‘her generosity to her subordinates was unbounded. These qualities, combined with her rank, rendered her the most dangerous of all the rebel leaders.’..."

Thursday, June 14, 2018

अशी रडायची क्षमता मी केंव्हाच घालवून बसलोय!....I Have Measured Out My Life With FIFA World Cups


Today June 14 2018, 21st FIFA world cup starts

T. S. Eliot, 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock'::
".....I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;...."

Brian Cumings:
"...Football is hope against experience, desire against frustration, time captured while time is lost. Perhaps football is not an escape from life, it is like life after all..."  

FIFA set to make $6.1 billion from World Cup 2018
 वर्ल्डकप च्या संबंधातील माझी एक अतिशय हृद्य आठवण आहे.  कोरियात झालेला त्यावर्षीच्या कप मधील खेळाचा दर्जा १९७०च्या कप  सारखा उत्कृष्ट होता- (मी १९७० पेले कप live पहिला नाहीये, १९८६पासून सगळे live पाहिलेत, त्या आधीचे सिनेमाच्या आधी Indian news मध्ये थोडे highlights आणि अर्थात  काही वर्षांनंतर TV  वर). कोरियात असल्यामुळे टीव्ही वर पाहायला वेळा सुद्धा भारतासाठी सोयीच्या होत्या.

जून ३० २००२ला  जेंव्हा वर्ल्डकप संपला तेंव्हा माझा ८ वर्षाचा मुलगा ढसढसा रडायला लागला. आम्हाला समजेचना. त्याने आणि मी जवळ जवळ जमेल तेवढा कप शेजारी बसून टीव्ही वर पहिला होता.  मग त्याने सांगितले की वर्ल्डकप संपला म्हणून रडू आले! 

मला त्याचा क्षणभर हेवा वाटला.... कारण मला सुद्धा रडू येत होत पण अशी रडायची क्षमता मी केंव्हापासून  घालवून बसलोय!

आणखी एक वर्ल्डकप मधला असा क्षण मुलाच्या संबंधीतलाच आहे. त्याचा जन्म मार्च १९९४ मधला आणि त्यावर्षी वर्ल्डकप होता जून- जुलै मध्ये अमेरिकेत.  जुलै ९ १९९४ ला क्वार्टर फायनल मॅच ब्राझील आणि हॉलंड मध्ये झाली. 

फिफा च्या वेबसाईट वर त्याचे वर्णन असे:
"...The second goal arrived after 64 minutes and this time Bebeto was the scorer. Thinking the backtracking Romario was offside, the Dutch defence paused fatally as the ball was headed back into their half from De Goey's long kick. Bebeto seized the initiative. After evading Wouters' desperate challenge, he rounded the keeper and slotted into the open goal before racing to the corner for a memorable baby-cradling celebration with Romario and Mazinho - in honour of his new born back in Brazil...."

हे जे सेलिब्रेशन झाले ते मी लाईव्ह पहिले आणि मला वाटले माझ्या मुलाला पण बेबेटो झोका देत आहेत...

मध्ये बेबेटो, उजवीकडे रोमेरियो आणि डावीकडे माझीन्हो

Artist: Christopher Weyant, The New Yorker

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

लिटररी रिव्यू साठी लक्ष्मण माने अजून उपरे!....Can We Really Trust Prestigious Foreign Magazines?

Swapan Dasgupta, The Times of India, June 17 2018:
"....in India at least, the foreign media mirrors the local English-language media. Apart from Kashmiri separatists, human rights and NGO activists and a small clutch of English-speaking politicians, the primary contact of foreign journalists are Indian journalists..."

लिटररी रिव्यूचा दबदबा आहे. मला स्वतःला ते आवडते. माझ्याकडे त्याची वर्गणी नाही. त्यामुळे पेवॉल च्या पलीकडचे लेख वाचता येत नाहीत तरी सुद्धा जेवढं वाचायला मिळत त्यात बऱ्याच वेळा आनंद वाटतो.

पण जून २०१८चा अंक घ्या. त्यात केशव गुहा यांनी सुजाता गिडला यांच्या 'Ants Among Elephants: An Untouchable Family and the Making of Modern India', २०१७च्या पुस्तकाचे परिक्षण लिहले आहे.

त्यातील शेवटचे दोन परिच्छेद पहा:

"... The book’s British and American publishers have promoted it as the untold story of India’s Dalits. This is not a harmless promotional claim. It imposes on Gidla’s book a wholly undue burden of representation, one that would never be applied to, say, a work by a Brahmin writer. It is also untrue. In terms of detail and narrative skill, Gidla’s stands alone, but it is also part of a tradition that includes such writers as Omprakash Valmiki, Narendra Jadhav and Siddalingaiah (to mention only those with memoirs available in English). Another Dalit, Meena Kandasamy, has just been shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction. 

It would be a shame if British readers thought that this book told ‘the Dalit story’ and thus took care of the matter. Dalits are just as underrepesented in publishing as elsewhere, including in what is transmitted from India to the West. To cite just one example, Devanur Mahadeva, widely regarded as one of the greatest modern Indian writers, has scarcely been published in English and never in this country. Ants Among Elephants will, one can still hope, be the book that changes all that."

म्हणजे गुहांची वंचित समाजांतून आलेल्या लेखकांची यादी ओमप्रकाश वाल्मिकींपासून पासून सुरु होणार?... दया पवार, लक्ष्मण माने, नामदेव ढसाळ (माझी यादी एवढीच आहे) त्यात नाहीत? त्यांचे साहित्य इंग्लिश/ फ्रेंच/ जर्मन  मध्ये येवो ना येवो, श्री. गुहांना ते लेखक माहित नाहीत? (बलुत इंग्लिश मध्ये आहे. उपरा इंग्लिश मध्ये आहे. ढसाळ तर दिलीप चित्रेंनी अनुवादिले आहेत.)

उपरा, १९८० आणि बलुतं, १९७८ ही दोन्ही पुस्तके मी प्रकाशित झालेल्या वर्षी , वयाच्या २१व्या वर्षाच्या आत,  वाचली आहेत, नामदेव ढसाळ तर मराठीच्या पुस्तकात होते आणि त्यांची कविता प्रथमदर्शनीच  प्रचंड आवडली.

'बलुत' वाचून वाईट वाटल पण पुस्तक काही फार आवडल नाही पण 'उपरा' ने हादरून आणि आनंदून गेलो. नामदेव ढसाळ तर तुकाराम, मर्ढेकर, कोलटकर यांच्या बरोबरीचा दर्जेदार  कवी आणि विलास सारंग लक्ष्मण मानेंची (मूळची भाषा तेलुगू) तुलना हेमिंग्वे आणि दुर्गाबाई भागवतांशी करतात. ('लिहित्या लेखकाचं वाचन', २०११)

लिटररी रिव्यू चे जाऊदे पण फक्त इंग्लिश मध्ये लिहणाऱ्या  बहुतेक भारतीय लेखकांबद्दल मी कायम साशंक असतो. उदाहरणार्थ : माझा य दि फडकेंवर रामचंद्र गुहांपेक्षा कित्येकपटीने जास्त विश्वास आहे कारण फडकेंनी (प्रामुख्याने) मराठी साधने अभ्यासून  महाराष्ट्राचा, भारताचा इतिहास लिहला आहे. ह्या विषयावर मी ह्याच  ब्लॉगवर इतरत्र विस्ताराने लिहले आहे.

एकच उदाहरण देतो, जानेवारी १४ २०१८च्या पोस्टचे:
 "रामचंद्र गुहा हे महाराष्ट्रातील पुणे-मुंबईतील आणि इंग्लंडमधील वर्तमानपत्रांचे आवडते इतिहासकार. त्यांचे 'India After Gandhi: The History of the World's Largest Democracy', २००७ पुस्तक गाजलेले, मराठीत अनुवाद झालेले. त्यातील 'Autumn of the Matriarch' ह्या प्रकरणात खालील माहिती आहे:

"...The debates on India’s population size dated from the earliest days of Independence. Social workers had set up a Family Planning Association of India in 1949. The Planning Commission had spoken of the importance of family planning since its inception in 1950–1. However, culture and economics worked in favour of large families. The biases in educational development meant that girls were still valued more as child-bearers than as wage-earners. The continuing dependence on agriculture placed a premium on children. Indian Muslims and Catholics were enjoined by their clergy to abjure family planning...."

ज्या  माणसाने आपले सर्वस्व त्याकारणी लावल होत त्या  कर्वेंचा उल्लेख संपूर्ण पुस्तकात कोठेही नाही! (गुहांच्या 'Makers of Modern India', २०१० या पुस्तकात सुद्धा र. धों चा उल्लेख कोठेही नाही.)"

सौजन्य : संबंधित कलाकार

Friday, June 08, 2018

Anthony Bourdain On Rice Culture


Recycling my post dated October 10 2014

Today October 10 2014 is 77th Birth Anniversary of my rice-manipulated mother.

Richard Klein:
"...Broadly put, neo-Epicureans suppose not only that you are what you eat, but that you think what you eat. Take German idealism, says Nietzsche. It has the leaden consistency and gaseous redolence of a diet thick with potatoes. Italian thought, one might add, is marked by the slippery texture and doughy blandness of pasta. Jewish metaphysics has the astringency and smoky intensity of briny pickles and cured fish. The indistinctness of Buddhist thought resembles white rice..."

Jared Diamond:
"Today just three high-carbohydrate plants –wheat, rice, and corn– provide the bulk of the calories consumed by the human species, yet each one is deficient in certain vitamins or amino acids essential to life."

Yuval Noah Harari, ‘Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind’, 2014:

“…The average farmer worked harder than the average forager, and got a worse diet in return. The Agricultural Revolution was history’s biggest fraud.

Who was responsible? Neither kings, nor priests, nor merchants. The culprits were a handful of plant species, including wheat, rice and potatoes. These plants domesticated Homo sapiens, rather than vice versa.

Think for a moment about the Agricultural Revolution from the viewpoint of wheat. Ten thousand years ago wheat was just a wild grass, one of many, confined to a small range in the Middle East. Suddenly, within just a few short millennia, it was growing all over the world. According to the basic evolutionary criteria of survival and reproduction, wheat has become one of the most successful plants in the history of the earth. In areas such as the Great Plains of North America, where not a single wheat stalk grew 10,000 years ago, you can today walk for hundreds upon hundreds of kilometers without encountering any other plant. Worldwide, wheat covers about 2.25 million square kilometers of the globe’s surface, almost ten times the size of Britain. How did this grass turn from insignificant to ubiquitous?

Wheat did it by manipulating Homo sapiens to its advantage...”
It was not wheat but rice that manipulated my Konkan-born Chitpavan-brahmin mother and her family. Thanks to her,  rice is my favourite food too.

Curd-rice (दहीभात) is  my ultimate comfort food. Some times even just a thought of eating it is quite soothing!

When we lived in Miraj, I felt little shy to admit it because rice-eating then was considered 'sissy' in Western Maharashtra. Eating jowar (Sorghum) bread was considered manly.

Later in life I realised, rice is eaten far more than jowar across the world and a lot of guys who eat them are as tough as they come.

It was interesting to read Anthony Bourdain on the subject of rice culture.

"...His love of the simple beauty of rice culture is a deep one. He loves Vietnam and Cambodia, for instance. He’s even gone so far as to have sit-downs with former Vietcong and Khmer Rouge Cambodians.

“This weekend I’m heading off for Vietnam. Love it. First love. It’s f--king beautiful. Any rice culture is beautiful.”

Any rice culture?

“It’s super-intricate. Just the irrigation systems, the level of cooperation with your neighbors. You need to manipulate the water levels, every little thing. Rice has something magical about it. Rice is an explanation for everything.” It dawned on me that “rice culture” embodies his celebration of communal work one finds all the way back in Kitchen Confidential..." 

('Anthony Bourdain’s Theory on the Foodie Revolution', Smithsonian Magazine, July 2014)

Does that explain a lot of why South India is distinct from the West? Why haven't I  read anything like this in Marathi on the subject of  rice culture?

Artist: Leo Cullum, The New Yorker, 25 November 1991