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.”

W H Auden: "But in my arms till break of day / Let the living creature lie. / Mortal, guilty, but to me/ The entirely beautiful."

Will Self: “To attempt to write seriously is always, I feel, to fail – the disjunction between my beautifully sonorous, accurate and painfully affecting mental content, and the leaden, halting sentences on the page always seems a dreadful falling short. It is this failure – a ceaseless threnody keening through the writing mind – that dominates my working life, just as an overweening sense of not having loved with enough depth or recklessness or tenderness dominates my personal one.”

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."

Art Spiegelman: "You know words in a way are hitting you on the left side of your brain, music and visual arts hit on the right side of the brain, so the idea is to pummel you, to send you from left brain to right brain and back until you're as unbalanced as I am."

विलास सारंग: "संदर्भ कुठलेही असोत, संस्कृत, इंग्रजी, बुद्धिवादी, तांत्रिक, इतिहासाचे, खगोलशास्त्राचे, आधुनिक पदार्थविज्ञानाचे, शिवकालीन व पेशवाईतील बखरीचे, अगणित ज्ञानक्षेत्रांचे, अशा वैविध्यपूर्ण ज्ञानावर लेखन- विशेषत: कवितालेखन- उभं राहत."

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Gandhigiri

For a Satyagrahi (an Individual standing up for Truth instead of a collective action), turning other cheek is not just "doing nothing" about the action but actually responding to the action.

Jesus Christ, Saint Eknath, Mahatma Gandhi, Vinoba Bhave विनोबा भावे, Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, Anna Hazare are few of the Satyagrahi's world has known.

There is a defiance in "turning other cheek".

Artist: Mischa Richter Published : The New Yorker Apr 23, 1960

p.s Perhaps it is no coincidence this came right in the thick of The American Civil Rights Movement (1955-1968) led by a Satyagrahi Martin Luther King jr.

By the way, I have rarely seen picture of anyone at Rajghat bowing so reverentially as Jazz masters below in Jan 2007. Satyagrahis? You may never get tickets or passes to their show but you can hear sound of their instruments loud and clear.


Blues

Artist: James Stevenson. Published in The New Yorker June 25, 1960

Swedish dramatist August Strindberg is reported to have said: "Shallow people demand variety – but I have been writing the same story throughout my life, every time trying to cut nearer the aching nerve".

I am using the same blue as his to reach the aching nerve but damn, I have run out of it.

Gandhi's, Pawar's, Gowda's, Scindia's, Singh's..............

Artist: Everett Opie Published: The New Yorker July 3, 1960

When I wore half khakis to school, JFK's photo was ubiquitous in small town of Maharashtra. It used to hanged in esteemed company of Nehru, Gandhi, Subhash Chandra Bose, Rana Pratap, Shivaji et al. I still remember seeing this pantheon on the wall of a small neighbourhood restaurant.

Over the years, JFK has been unmasked. He has been pushed down from his pedestal like a Lenin. For my back, reading Gore Vidal's review of Seymour Hersh's book- The Dark Side of Camelot- was the final straw.

Now, I don't want to know which is which Kennedy.

I think similar fate awaits most of India's most prominent political families. Although I must say reputation of Nehru has fared much better than JFK after his death.

Titanic. Where is First Officer Murdoch?

Artist: Kenneth Mahood Published: The New Yorker April 9, 1960

In "Titanic", First officer William McMaster Murdoch, the officer in charge of launching the lifeboat, threatens to shoot any man who tries to get into the boat, allowing only women and children to get in.

Where is William or has everyone aboard paid this Bill a bribe inducing a bout of amnesia?

Insect world is waiting - and one day it's going to roll over


Artist: Dana Fradon Published in The New Yorker July 2, 1960

Ingmar Bergman: "I've a strong impression our world is about to go under. Our political systems are deeply compromised and have no further uses. Our social behavior patterns, interior and exterior, have proved a fiasco. The tragic thing is, we neither can nor want, nor have the strength, to alter our course. It's too late for revolutions, and deep down inside ourselves we no longer even believe in their positive effects. Just around the corner an insect world is waiting - and one day it's going to roll over our ultra-individualized existence. Otherwise, I'm a respectable Social Democrat." I am a respectable social democrat!

Norman Rockwell and Rockwellian


Artist: Norman Rockwell publsihed in Saturday Evening Post , May 16, 1959

Dad watches mother and the children parade through the living room on their way to church.

Artist: Barney Tobey published in The New Yorker on 16 July 1960

Dad gets a birthday 'gift' of exercycle from the family. Now, who called it a "happy" and a "gift"?