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, September 20, 2007

Ramsevaks Reflect

India keeps churning out news faster than we all can digest. Ram once again is in news: “Did he really exist or not?”

Ram and his story are so central (see my previous post on this) to India that it doesn’t matter.

TULSI RAMAYAN- Ramcharitmanas is arguably the best book in Hindi. Vinoba Bhave विनोबा भावे has written beautifully on the book. ("Vinoba Saraswat" Edited by Ram Shewalkar, Sahitya Akademi 1987)

Utopia is translated as “Ram Rajya” (Ram’s Regime) in Indian languages.

Tukaram describes Ram Rajya thus: राम राजा राम प्रजा लोकपाळ, एकचि सकळ दुजे नाही। (In which kingdom Ram is king, in which kingdom Ram is populace and in which kingdom Ram is the administrator)

Mahatma Gandhi’s famous last words were “He Ram”.

Now in the name of Maryada-Purushottam Ram, at Bangalore, Ramsevaks have attacked the house of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Karunanidhi’s daughter because he reportedly said: “Ram was a mythical figure and there was no historical evidence of his existence.”

I would say: Ramsevaks, Reflect. Let tham call you conservative.


Artist: George Price The New Yorker July 21 1934