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."

Monday, August 13, 2007

Unless the bridges get blown up by helpful terrorists……..

Just one bridge fell in Minneapolis and people in US are talking about health of the most of the bridges in that country.

“Federal officials have admitted that as many as 70,000 bridges across the US - representing 12 per cent of all bridges in the country - had recently been rated structurally deficient. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, the US would need to spend $9.4bn annually for the next 20 years to address all the problems with its aging bridges."

Garrison Keillor writes: “…Bridges are not supposed to fall down unless there is an earthquake. People die in violent storms, plane crashes, epidemics, but a person is supposed to be able to drive home on a summer evening and cross a river on a steel truss bridge and not find himself plunging headlong into the abyss…..
Unless the bridges get blown up by helpful terrorists, making us eligible for Halliburton to come in and rebuild them, I don't imagine that much will happen. There will be an investigation and someday, when we are much older, we will learn that the bridge collapsed due to a unique set of circumstances that could not have been predicted by anybody. Nobody had sex with that woman. Everybody was doing a heckuva job….”

NYT editorial (Aug 11,2007) says: “In its last state inspection, the Brooklyn Bridge rated 2.9 on a scale of 7, an unabashed poor rating, barely passing. It was not bad enough to close it or further limit traffic and city officials pronounce the bridge safe, but New Yorkers should be excused if they begin looking at the 124-year-old landmark in a different way.

Those who live in its magnificent shadow are in the same uneasy place as the millions of other Americans who traverse bridges daily. Many, in inspections prompted by the Minneapolis disaster, have been found to have structural, design or maintenance problems. ……”

Welcome to India!

I wonder what ratings bridges in India would get. We of course have digested bridge falls as easily as neighbourhood water logging during monsoons. Jaane-Bhi-Do-Yaro (1983), one of our all time great feature films, carries a backdrop of a bridge fall in Mumbai.

A fallen bridge always reminds me of “The Bridge on the River Kwai”. One of the most moving scenes is when on the eve of the blast Colonel Nicholson (Alec Guinness) reminisces his days in India. He says he helped build railway bridges all over India.

Regardless of their ratings most of them stand today.

Artist: Mike Luckovich

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