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."

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Mount Everest the Overfull

I liked my stay and travel to Assam and Arunachal Pradesh for their somnolence. There were empty parts of the day, of the week, of the year; times when there were no people around, no traffic in the streets, no audible human voices, now and then no sound at all.

I used to have similar experience as a child just behind our home at Miraj. Other than a stray dog or a passing bicyclist, nothing happened when I planted my self on a branch of Tamarind tree. Some people talked about ghosts on the trees. Ghosts seem to prefer somnolence and that was all right by me. I even liked reading books with pictures that gave the impression of somnolence like Chandamama(Chandoba in Marathi)or Phantom(Vetal in Marathi).

PAUL THEROUX (according to me one of the only three Americans who understands India-Mark Twain, J K Galbraith are the other two) has written about this in the essay “America the Overfull” (NYT December 31, 2006):

“A longing for a simpler world, for a glimpse of the past, is one of the motives in travel……… Travel, except in almost inaccessible places, is no longer the answer to finding solitude. And this contraction of space on a shrinking planet suggests a time, not far off, when there will be no remoteness: nowhere to become lost, nothing to be discovered, no escape, no palpable concept of distance, no peculiarity of dress — frightening thoughts for a traveler……. We are passing through a confused period of aggression and fear, characterized by our confrontational government, the decline of diplomacy, a pugnacious foreign policy and a settled belief that the surest way to get people to tell the truth is to torture them. It is no wonder we have begun to squint at strangers. This is a corrosive situation in a country where more and more people, most of them strangers, are a feature of daily life. Americans as a people I believe to be easygoing, compassionate, not looking for a fight. But surely I am not the only one who has noticed that we are ruder, more offhand, readier to take offense, a nation of shouters and blamers.”

NOAM COHEN has written about crawling crowds on the Mount Everest in “Conquering the Peak Test of Technology” (NYT June 18,2007).
Mobile phones, PDA’s but not Laptops now seem to work at the top of the Mount Everest. Base camp looks like “ a Hollywood production set, with all its flat-screen TVs and generators.”

What next? Menswear…….



Artist: Robert Mankoff The New Yorker 5 Sept 1988

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