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."

Monday, November 12, 2007

Headless Chickens and Headless Cockroaches

Finally India’s ambassador to the US tendered an unqualified apology for allegedly calling Indian lawmakers “headless chickens”. (India Today November 12, 2007)

Scientific American reports in November, 2007 issue: “A headless roach may not be the smartest of its kind, but it can certainly survive.”

If Indian politicians are headless chickens, most Indian senior civil servants must surely be headless cockroaches- the teflon coated ultimate survivors.

Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar wrote in his column for Times of India May 27, 2007:

“…most of the government sector is third-class and tarnished…… Actually, government spending is gargantuan: a million crores per year. But it has so much waste and corruption that voters refuse to show gratitude for the little that gets through…

The police no longer catch criminals and the courts no longer convict them. Conviction rates have fallen to 16%… Bureaucrats are typically callous and corrupt

Around 35% of all electricity is stolen, causing power crises…

it takes Rs 3.65 of government spending to get one rupee of Public Distribution System benefit to the poor. What a waste! …

The problem is a decaying government sector that neither Congress nor other parties are willing to reform.”

Members of Indian middle-class are in the habit of blaming all the ills country faces on politicians. Instead they should target senior civil servants.

They don’t because they are their cousins, parents and children.


Artist: R K Laxman Times of India August 23, 2007

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