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.”

H. P. Lovecraft: "What a man does for pay is of little significance. What he is, as a sensitive instrument responsive to the world's beauty, is everything!"

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);...”

Werner Herzog: “We are surrounded by worn-out, banal, useless and exhausted images, limping and dragging themselves behind the rest of our cultural evolution.”

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."

Friday, October 12, 2007

Horse is No Longer High but How Terrible is the Deterioration in Myself!

First day of Navratri (this year October 12) kicks off a festival season in Maharashtra that ends only with the wedding of Tulsi (this year Nov 24),long after Diwali.

During my schooldays at Miraj, courtyard of Ambabai temple used to hold annual fair. The most attractive objects for me there were kites and clay figurines of Maratha warriors. Another attraction was the godess herself who would change her carrier every day during the nine day festival.

George Orwell on his schooldays "Such, Such Were The Joys":

"…In a way it is only within the last decade that I have really thought over my schooldays, vividly though their memory has haunted me. Nowadays, I believe, it would make very little impression on me to see the place again, if it still exists. And if I went inside and smelled again the inky, dusty smell of the big schoolroom, the rosiny smell of the chapel, the stagnant smell of the swimming bath and the cold reek of the lavatories, I think I should only feel what one invariably feels in revisiting any scene of childhood:
How small everything has grown, and how terrible is the deterioration in myself!"

And finally Marathi poet B S Mardhekar (बा. सी. मर्ढेकर) on his days bygone:

किती तरी दिवसांत
नाहीं चांदण्यात गेलों;
कितीतरी दिवसांत
नाहीं नदीत डुंबलो.

खुल्या चांदण्याची ओढ़
आहे माझी ही जुनीच;
आणि वाहत्या पाण्याची
शीळ ओळखीची तीच.

केव्हा तरी चांदण्यात
पुन्हा जाईन निर्भय;
गांवाकाठच्या नदीत
होईन मी जलमय.

आज अंतरांत भीती
खुल्या चांदण्याची थोड़ी;
आणि नदीचा प्रवाह
अंगावर कांटा काढी.

बरा म्हणून हा इथें
दिवा पारवा पारयाचा;
बरी तोतरया नळाची
शिरी धार, मुखी ऋचा.

Artist: Whitney Darrow,Jr. The New Yorker 17 July 1948