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."

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Being symbiotic with people

In Indian epic Mahabharata, dog is part of a very moving story.

After fighting bloodiest battle of the time, Pandavas, the victors, began their final journey towards heaven atop Himalayas, a dog accompanied them.

All except the eldest brother- Yudhishthira- died on their way. Only Yudhishthira and the dog reached the door of the heaven. Indra came on his chariot to get pious and truthful Yudhishthira to heaven. Yudhishthira paid his respect to Lord Indra and asked his companion dog to get into the chariot. Indra was shocked, “A dog to heaven?” When Yudhishthira refused to go to heaven without the dog, the God of Death, Dharmaraj Yama emerged out of the dog and blessed Yudhishthira. Yama was testing the steadfastness of Yudhishthira.

If there was any other animal instead of dog, it may not have understood when Yudhishthira motioned it to get into the chariot!

The Economist in Feb 2004 had a story "Sensitive souls" on dogs. Why did dog become man's best friend?

It says: "NO SPECIES has developed a closer relationship with humanity than the dog. But that relationship's basis—what it is about dogs that allows them to live at ease with people—is still little understood. After all, dogs are descended from wolves, which are big, scary carnivores that would certainly have competed with early man for prey, and might not have been averse to the occasional human as a light snack……

sensitivity to human social cues is a recent genetic adaptation that has evolved specifically to allow dogs to enter a new ecological niche—that of being symbiotic with people."

Therefore no amount of teaching or coercion will help a cat to wag its tail!


Artist : Tom Cheney Publication: The New Yorker Nov 11 1985