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.”

Shel Silverstein : “Talked my head off Worked my tail off Cried my eyes out Walked my feet off Sang my heart out So you see, There’s really not much left of me.” ~

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."

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Laugh is like a sneeze or a yawn. Shadowing us all the time but occasionally- like a shadow itself- hard to find. And hence the search!

This blog is in memory of my late mother Jyoti G. Kulkarni (nee Shakuntala V. Bhate) and my aunt Tai mavashi (the late Malati J Deval of Kolhapur)- reminiscent of G A Kulkarni's (जी ए कुलकर्णी) "Tani Mavashi".

They always conquered their pain with a big heart and a bigger laugh. Not a moment was dull when they were around.


At the end of it all, one is looking for a reason to laugh. Society which has become smug and arrogant finds it hard to laugh at others and, hopefully and more importantly, at self.


Laugh is like a sneeze or a yawn. Shadowing us all the time but occasionally- like a shadow- hard to find. And hence the search!


But this is not about laugh alone.

As poet B S Mardhekar (बा.सी.मर्ढेकर) says here:

पंक्चरली जरि रात्र दिव्यांनीं,
तरी पंपतो कुणी काळोख;
हसण्याचें जरि वेड लागलें,
भुंकतात तरि अश्रू चोख.

"Punctured though night is by lightbulbs,
Someone is pumping darkness;
Though laughter crazed,
tears bark alright."

Inspiration for this came from the late D G Godse (द ग गोडसे), arguably the best visual art critic in the country, who has penned many brilliant commentaries on subjects from paintings in Ajanta to Shaniwar-wada, architecture of Raigad to Mandu and so on.

Shri. M V Dhond (म वा धोंड) taught me the value of versatility in an art critic and importance of following your own instincts.

Vasant Sarwate (वसंत सरवटे) showed when I was in school that art of cartooning is no less than music, painting or poetry. Sarwate is a worthy successor to great humourists Shripad Krishna Kolhatkar (श्रीपाद कृष्ण कोल्हटकर), C V Joshi (चिं वि जोशी) and also Natyachhatakar Diwakar (नाट्यछटाकार दिवाकर).

Vilas Sarang (विलास सारंग), the most under-rated writer/critic in Marathi ever, told: “…..seriousness does not mean solemnity….. Just learn from the poetry of Sadanand Rege (सदानंद रेगे) and Arun Kolatkar (अरुण कोलटकर)”. I am trying.

And my father Gopal Dutt Kulkarni (गोपाळ दत्त कुलकर्णी ) who has been critic of all life and art around him since I heard him first time.

But why bother and express oneself?

Vivekananda: “Let us remember that the civilization of the West has been drawn from the fountain of the Greeks, and that the great idea of Greek civilization is that of expression. In India we think – but unfortunately sometimes we think so deeply that there is no power left for expression. Gradually, therefore, it came to pass that our force of expression did not manifest itself before the world; and what is the result of that? The result is this – we work to hide everything we had. It began first with individuals as a faculty of hiding, and it ended by becoming a national habit of hiding-there is a such a lack of power of expression with us that we are now considered a dead nation. Without expression how can we live? The backbone of Western civilization is expansion and expression

What is it worth? You decide but let Mardhekar again express himself.

भरून येइल ह्रुदय जेधवां
शरीर पिळुनी निघेल घाम;
अन् शब्दांच्या तोंडांमध्यें
बसेल तूझा गच्च लगाम;

काळयावरतीं जरा पांढ़रें
ह्या पाप्याच्या हातुन व्हावें
फक्त तेधवां : आणि एरव्हीं
हेंच पांढऱ्या वरतीं काळे!

But why blog and not a book perhaps?


Courtesy:Artist: Paul Wood, The Spectator, 2007

"I thought I had a book inside me but it was just a blog."

15 comments:

अवधूत / Avadhoot said...

This is a very nice and "important" blog. "Important" because, you write about Marathi culture in English. Thanks.

aniruddha g. kulkarni said...

Thanks Avadhoot.

You are the first reader to talk about "importance".

I would say this may/mayn't be important but I thought that some one should do it to reach the larger audience.

best,

Sachin said...

Sachin ...

Sadhya Mardhekar Janmashatabdi nimitta, sangitik kam kartoy, blog baghun anand watla. Bolayla awdel, cell no. kalwa.

sachin.

aniruddha g. kulkarni said...

Sachin,

Thanks.

Good luck with your 'sangitik'. (Is it 'Badkanche Gupit?')

Please let me know your e-mail on which I will send my detailed contact.

best,

chekadam said...

hmm, chaan!
Mardhekar Janmashatabdi nimitta
tyanchya kavitancha blog pahun
anand jhala

aniruddha g. kulkarni said...

Thanks Chetan Kadam.

अवधूत / Avadhoot said...

Recently bought Vilas Sarang's "Sisyphus and belacqua" published by PRAS PRAKASHN. Just wanted to tell you. If you have not read it, you can get it at Peoples' Book House, Fort, Mumbai.
If you have already read it, would like to read something about it on your blog. THANKS.

aniruddha g. kulkarni said...

Thanks Avadhoot for sharing the info.

I haven't read it. I must read it!

I will try to acquire the book and comment.

best,

Anonymous said...

Hello,

This is a question for the webmaster/admin here at www.blogger.com.

Can I use some of the information from this blog post right above if I provide a backlink back to your site?

Thanks,
Daniel

aniruddha g. kulkarni said...

Daniel.

Yes you can.

best,

Aniruddha Kulkarni

Chandrashkhar Belsare said...

मर्ढेकरांच्या पिंपात मेले उंदिर ह्या कवितेला दुसऱया महायुघ्द कालातील आंतरराष्ट्रीय संदर्भ आहेत. ह्या कवितेस हिटलरने केलेल्या ज्यूंच्या छळछावण्यातील गॅस चेंबर्समध्ये केलेल्या हत्त्या कांडांचा व दोस्त राष्ट्रांच्या युघ्दकालीन प्रचारनीतीचा संदर्भ आहे. ह्या बाबतीत काही नवीन माहीती इंटरनेट वर मिळाली आहे. त्या माहीती च्या व इतर उपलब्ध माहीतीच्या आधारे कवितेचा अर्थ लावण्याचा प्रयत्न केला आहे. ह्या विषयावरील लेख जिज्ञासूंकरीता http://belsare.blogspot.com ह्या संकेतस्थळावर उपलब्ध केला आहे
चंद्रशेखर बेलसरे
पुणे

अवधूत - Avadhoot said...

''They always conquered their pain with a big heart and a bigger laugh.'' - This is interesting.

aniruddha g. kulkarni said...

Thanks Avadhoot.

For me it is humbling because I will never have such a heart. Not even close.

अवधूत said...

I still think this blog is nice. But, It's good that I had put the word "important" in quotes. Sometimes this word suggests a kind of superiority, which I didn't mean, so I put the quotes. I am also a bit doubtful about using English to reach larger audience. Whether expression comes first or the audience? But it of course helps bridge some gaps in whatever hierarchy we have today, so it's "important". And it's less bilingual than I had thought it to be. This of course is a choice of the blog-writer and that needs to be respected, I feel.

I had also commented somewhere on this blog that it's like a documentation of the journey of a brain. And in this sense I found it "important" and interesting. I also understand the choice of the language from this point. There are many views on this blog with which I disagree, some of them I find cavalier, but still I understand it from the journey point of view. There is a certain sense of nostalgia on this blog, specifically about Marathi culture, and it generates some contradictions. But since the writing is in English, there are some other contemporary things that can find their place easily here. It would take more effort for a Marathi writer to incorporate these things in his work. This is not about incapability of the language per se, but it must have something to do with the way civilisations are developed, and the way they collapse. These are big subjects and I'm too small. But in whatever small way I have read this blog, I have noted my observations when I felt like doing it, so this comment today, which is not about any specific post, but about this blog in general.

Best.

Aniruddha G. Kulkarni said...

Thanks for your continued interest and affection, Avadhoot....some of your observations are sharp....best