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 09, 2007

Now Fallen Sperm Count May Trigger Next Mahabharat

Times of India reported on October 8, 2007:”A new study by researchers at the University of Sheffield suggests that people having an elder brother are more likely to have reduced fertility, as compared to individuals having an elder sister."

My reaction. Oh no, another reason for brothers to fight.

Hindus keep making noises about Bhagavad-Gita and Ramayana but the book they follow most is Mahabharat. (Or is that the book follows them?)

If one wants to understand India, she must understand Mahabharat.

Excellent commentaries on Mahabharat are available in Marathi – Vyasaparva by Durga Bhagwat दुर्गा भागवत and Yuganta (also available in English) by Iravati Karve.

Columnist and writer Gurcharan Das of late has often resorted to the epic to press home his point. He recommends editions of University Of Chicago Press and Clay Sanskrit Library from Oxford University .

Mahabharat at its heart is a story of feuding brothers and cousins. In Marathi, there is a word for this conflict-‘Bhaubandki’. I feel Indian Y chromosome is not programmed to coexist with its kind!

For example, just see what is happening in business empires of Ambani’s; Bajaj’s, soap operas, movies, dominant political families etc. Indian history (of both Hindus and Muslims) is replete with many examples.(I was shocked to read in John Keay’s “India” that the great Harsha-Vardhana had had a hand in his brother Rajya-Vardhana’s ‘imminent removal’.)

I don’t see this ‘feuding brothers’ a dominant theme in Western Civilization.

On October 4, 2007, world celebrated launch of Sputnik 50 years ago. A hurting Indian brother may not mind sending his sibling along!


Artist: Charles Addams The New Yorker Jan 6, 1951

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