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, October 02, 2007

Did Natives Create The Bountiful Art You See In Maharashtra?

Frontline has started publishing 25-part series on Indian art.starting with the issue Aug. 11-24, 2007 “Eternal India”.

The latest article is “Grandeur in caves”. Article covers “vast rock-cut temples and viharas dot the hills of western and eastern India”.

Does Maharashtra have its Own Distinct Culture?” was the title of an essay by Prof S M Mate in 1954. A debate raged on the subject, joined by number of experts like sculptor V P Karmarkar, K Narayan Kale, Irawati Karve, H.D Sankaliya. One offshoot of the debate was if locals created the art you see all around in Maharashtra.

I haven’t heard of such a debate elsewhere in India except perhaps in Assam. People elsewhere presume locals created the art. Maharashtra and Marathi have perhaps been more melting pots than others and hence the debate.

The then Maharashtra often used to have such raging debates. What fun! See an earlier entry on the related subject of literary feuds here.

This blog keeps returning to the one and only D G Godse द ग गोडसे. See previous entries on Godse here.

1.Taj Mahal and Raigad
2.Thomas Daniell’s ‘Fraud’ Painting of Peshwa Court,
3.Ashtavinayak

Godse joined the battle with his essay-‘Shilpi Maharashtra’- first published in ‘Chhand’ (May-June 1955), now included in his book “Samande Talash” (Shreevidya Prakashan 1981).

Godse’s verdict- Yes, natives largely created the art you see in Maharashtra. He aks “why 90% of all Indian carvings are in Maharashtra?” and explains this abundance ”…. this is not just because of the ruling dynasties of Maharashtra –Shalivahan, Vakatak, Chalukya, Rashtrakut-but also because of patronage of art by ordinary people”.

Frontline says: “IN western India, the 2nd century B.C. ushered in one of the greatest periods of the art of India and the entire art of Buddhism. Over a period of about 1,000 years, more than 1,200 caves were hewn out of the mountains of the Western Ghats, not very far from the coast of present-day Maharashtra. They were profusely sculpted and painted in the Buddhist traditions. Leaving behind the cares and confusions of the material world, the devotee came to these splendid havens of contemplation…”

My parents shifted residence to Nashik in late 80’s. The best place I found at Nashik was what locals call “Pandav Leni” sculpted in 2nd century during Satavahanas (see picture below). Once I went up there, I never felt like coming down. I imagined how it must be almost two millennia ago. People,looking just like me, taking in breeze, contemplating both every day issues and life-after.



Pandav Leni / NASHIK CAVES, 2ND century A.D.

And I haven’t seen more vivacious and sexier woman than this 2nd century beauty!



MITHUNAS, CAVE 3, Kanheri, 2nd century A.D.

1 comment:

Innocent Warrior said...

Wow!!! That was amazing. Now I have to plan a trip to Pandavlevni as early as possible.

Thanks for sharing this article