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."

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Diwali First Day, Gene Period 3 and Cockroaches

Diwali is almost upon us. I already smell it. Narak Chaturdashi नरक चतुर्दशी, first day of the festival, is celebrated in Maharashtra with an early morning bath अभ्यंग स्नान.

At Miraj, mother always woke us when it was still dark and cold. It felt colder because our house had a tiled roof, I was less fat and there was no constant talk of global warming.

Feasting frenzy soon followed the bath.

I liked that day the best. I still like it because I like getting up early. They say this liking is written in one’s DNA, a gene called Period 3. Yes, I agree because my mother too liked it.

In that respect, I am not like a cockroach.

Business Line on September 30, 2007 reported that:

“It's not just people who find it hard to get going in the morning. Cockroaches don't like mornings either, according to US researchers.

A study by biologists at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, found dramatic variations in a cockroach's learning ability throughout the day. In the morning, the insects couldn't learn a new task, but in the evening, something kicked in…

This study was a surprise from the beginning to the end—the fact that cockroaches could be trained, even though you would not generally say they are a high IQ creature, and the impact that their body clocks had on their ability to learn…”

Roaches are in excellent company of Calvin, my son and my wife!

Happy Diwali!!!

Artist: Bill Watterson Calvin And Hobbes

(click on the picture to get a larger view)

Shivaji Would Have Ordered Hacking For Injustice to Lakshmana Kailash, Victim of Tyrannies

Times of India on November 3, 2007 reported a sad story of an innocent young man.

“In the early hours of August 31, Lakshmana Kailash K was asleep at his home in Bangalore. He was woken up by eight policemen from Pune who came knocking on his door and waved the Information Technology Act, 2000, in his sleepy, terrified face. Get dressed, he was told, we are taking you to Pune for having defamed Shivaji. Lakshmana protested that he didn't know anyone called Shivaji.

The policemen said that they were talking about Chhatrapati Shivaji and that an insulting picture of him had been uploaded on the Internet networking site, Orkut. The trail had led them to his computer in Bangalore. Turning a deaf ear to his protests, the cops took him to Pune and put him behind bars. Along the way, the 26-year-old Lakshmana, who works with HCL, learned that what he was being arrested for was a case that had triggered riots in Pune in November 2006. Political parties had forcibly closed cybercafes and gone on a rampage over the posting of the illustration which had poked fun at Shivaji.

Lakshmana was released after spending 50 days in jail, three weeks after the cops claimed to have nabbed the "real culprits".

This reminded me of the infamous case of P Rajan, an engineering college student during Indira Gandhi’s emergency.

Why does the state do this in the name of Shivaji- one of the most tolerant, sensitive and fair rulers India produced? (Akbar, Ashoka & Krishnadev Raya are luckier. No one still does this in their names!)

In 17th century, Shivaji- enraged at this gross injustice to a common man- would have ordered hacking of arms of erring staff of the ISP who apparently gave wrong IP address to the police.

Meanwhile, Lakshmana Kailash’s only consolation can be….

Artist: Charles E.Martin The New Yorker 16 Nov 1957