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."

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Brahmaputra

When I decided to join a tea plantation company in upper-Assam, leaving a cushy job in Nashik, Maharashtra, most people’s fear about my mental state came true! But I did not care. I had tryst with Assam. At IIT, Madras, I had stayed at the hostel named after India’s mightiest river- Brahmaputra. Since then and even before Brahamaputra had called me and I was determined to meet her in Assam.

The day I landed in Assam was a Sunday in July 1989. I was asked if I wanted to visit any place or any one. I immediately asked to be taken to Brahamaputra. I cannot describe my feelings when I reached her bank in the town of Dibrugarh. There she was. So MIGHTY, I could not see her other bank.

In Maharashtra, one may not even notice a river if there was no water in it-which is the case most times- and here was a river that looked like a sea.

My decision to come to Assam was vindicated.

But the same day, I heard some sad stories about the havoc caused by the river. They said she has swallowed whole of Dibrugarh once and she might do it again.

Asian Age of June 2 2007 reports:
“Assam is losing an average of 8,000 hectares of fertile land every year in erosion caused by stream of Brahamaputra. Assam water resources minister also admitted that a series of measures taken over the last 10 years had also failed to arrest this trend.
Minister said: "The mighty river Brahmaputra, that runs from east to west through Assam, had alone eroded away over 3.88 lakh hectare of land between 1954 and 2002. Loss of vast tracts of fertile land has made thousands of families homeless and landless in the state in the past five decades. The damages caused by flood could be repaired but river-bank erosion is engulfing the land.
If experts are to be believed the problem of erosion caused became a major problem after the great earthquake of 1950, during which the river also changed its course. The Brahmaputra took away the entire town of Sadiya and also a large part of Dibrugarh town while the entire township of Palashbari, hardly 30 km west of Guwahati, also disappeared due to river-bank erosion in the subsequent years.”

When Brahmaputra changes her course........


Artist: Rober J. Day The New Yorker 13 Oct 1934