मेघदूत: "नीचैर्गच्छत्युपरि च दशा चक्रनेमिक्रमेण"

समर्थ शिष्या अक्का : "स्वामीच्या कृपाप्रसादे हे सर्व नश्वर आहे असे समजले. पण या नश्वरात तमाशा बहुत आहे."

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.”

Friedrich Nietzsche: “Everybody wants the same, everybody is the same: whoever feels different goes voluntarily into a madhouse.”

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);...”

सदानंद रेगे:
"... पण तुकारामाची गाथा ज्या धुंदीनं आजपर्यंत वाचली जात होती ती धुंदी माझ्याकडे नाहीय. ती मला येऊच शकत नाही याचं कारण स्वभावतःच मी नास्तिक आहे."
".. त्यामुळं आपण त्या दारिद्र्याच्या अनुभवापलीकडे जाऊच शकत नाही. तुम्ही जर अलीकडची सगळी पुस्तके पाहिलीत...तर त्यांच्यामध्ये त्याच्याखेरीज दुसरं काही नाहीच आहे. म्हणजे माणसांच्या नात्यानात्यांतील जी सूक्ष्मता आहे ती क्वचित चितारलेली तुम्हाला दिसेल. कारण हा जो अनुभव आहे... आपले जे अनुभव आहेत ते ढोबळ प्रकारचे आहेत....."

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."

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Are women at the mercy of biology?

Since Victorian era began in England, in India- let alone sex-mentioning women’s monthly periods became taboo. It was not so in medieval times. Indian historians (e.g. T S Shejwalkar, D G Godse द ग गोडसे) have quoted instances when women’s monthly period was mentioned without any hesitation.

During my childhood in sixties and seventies, monthly period was a subject that could not be avoided (how do you turn down an invitation to participate in religious activities?) yet could not be discussed directly. Many euphemisms were invented. I remember one – ‘Dog touched’. My mother used it and we interrogated her mercilessly- how the hell it did! She always came up with a story. Not very convincing most times.

Although my mother never practiced it, we saw most women of Brahmin households “sitting Out/Aside/Away” during those "dog-touched” days. They were not allowed to ‘touch’ most things and people. They almost became 'untouchables'. They used separate set of utensils for eating, wore separate set of clothes and so on. The whole day, they sat in a shadowy corner of the house.

I felt great mystery every time I came across a “sitting OAA” woman. Now, how the hell did a dog touch her?!

These days in cities I don’t come across women “sitting OAA” but the subject is still treated with some hesitation. We have dozens of sanitary napkin brands on the market today, but their advertisements continue to be shrouded in mystery.

I guess the practice of "sitting OAA" had a lot of merit. It made sure a woman was freed of physical labour (sample these killers- fetching water, cooking, washing clothes) and sex during menstruation. It gave her much needed rest.

I never heard menopause being discussed at all. So following headline would sound from planet Venus.

ELIZABETH HAYT (NYT June 7,2007)“Listen Up, Everybody: I’m in Menopause”

Artist: Barbara Smaller The New Yorker 1 Nov 1999