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.”

W H Auden: "But in my arms till break of day / Let the living creature lie. / Mortal, guilty, but to me/ The entirely beautiful."

Will Self: “To attempt to write seriously is always, I feel, to fail – the disjunction between my beautifully sonorous, accurate and painfully affecting mental content, and the leaden, halting sentences on the page always seems a dreadful falling short. It is this failure – a ceaseless threnody keening through the writing mind – that dominates my working life, just as an overweening sense of not having loved with enough depth or recklessness or tenderness dominates my personal one.”

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."

Art Spiegelman: "You know words in a way are hitting you on the left side of your brain, music and visual arts hit on the right side of the brain, so the idea is to pummel you, to send you from left brain to right brain and back until you're as unbalanced as I am."

विलास सारंग: "संदर्भ कुठलेही असोत, संस्कृत, इंग्रजी, बुद्धिवादी, तांत्रिक, इतिहासाचे, खगोलशास्त्राचे, आधुनिक पदार्थविज्ञानाचे, शिवकालीन व पेशवाईतील बखरीचे, अगणित ज्ञानक्षेत्रांचे, अशा वैविध्यपूर्ण ज्ञानावर लेखन- विशेषत: कवितालेखन- उभं राहत."

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Adam's Curse

In Maharashtra,India, when people are describing someone male, borne in early to mid 20th century, one attribute is often used to describe their nature- volatile- given to extreme anger. My father’s father belonged to that category and my father followed the suit. My son may write what I do.

According to my father, he loved his father deeply. My father, when he was twenty-one, married my mother much against his father’s wishes. He and his father remained estranged until I was 27. For almost 30 years, they did not meet each other, including when my father’s mother died.

My wedding gave some kind of an opportunity to both of them to patch up. They seemed to succeed at that. I was present at their reunion. It was both moving and funny. Moving for obvious reasons. Funny because I don't know what happens when you lead your separate lives for 30 years!

Then, I had heard my grand father was making plans to visit and stay with my parents for few days. But suddenly he died leaving behind a will.

The document disinherited four of his sons bequeathing all his property (including some prime property in Pune) to his youngest son. My father did not want a dime from his father but what really broke his heart was the will document spoke scathingly of him. My father thought my grandpa might not give him anything material but would recognise his qualities as a good son. He did neither. He perhaps never forgave my father.

All because, remember, my grandpa’s nature was volatile!

Did my grandpa look like Peter Arno's character below when he wrote his will?

BTW- Another volatile old man I knew, my friend's grandpa- Bedekar, looked like the old man in the picture. I don't know about his will but I remember his anger. When my friend and I were playing a game of chess, he came over and started moving pieces on his grandson's behalf. Unfortunately he lost. His whole body was shaking. I was scared.

Artist: Peter Arno Publication date : Dec 7, 1940