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."

Monday, November 05, 2007

Yes, Yes, Yes, We Will Follow You. In One-Lac-Rupees Car.

Flavour of the decade in India is sub-one-lac-rupees car. Tata’s will make them and so will Bajaj's.

They dream: People who are walking and cycling will buy a scooter/ motor-cycle. Those who are driving two wheelers will buy sub-one-lac.

THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN says in his NYT column dated November 4, 2007No, No, No, Don’t Follow Us”:

“India is in serious danger — no, not from Pakistan or internal strife. India is in danger from an Indian-made vehicle: a $2,500 passenger car, the world’s cheapest…

Blessedly, many more people now have the incomes to live an American lifestyle, and the Indian and Chinese low-cost manufacturing platforms can deliver them that lifestyle at lower and lower costs. But the energy and environmental implications could be enormous, for India and the world…

If India just innovates in cheap cars alone, its future will be gridlocked and polluted. But an India that makes itself the leader in both cheap cars and clean mass mobility is an India that will be healthier and wealthier. It will also be an India that gives us cheap answers to big problems — rather than cheap copies of our worst habits. “

PANKAJ MISHRA (Outlook Magazine, August 20, 2007):

“…The breathtaking originality and sophistication of these (Indian) thinkers and activists long convinced me that the country in which they flourished has something more profound to offer to the world than its ability to imitate the consumer societies of the West.”

Led by IT, the booming Indian economy has given young Indians the kind of money their parents made only when they won the lottery. (In 1970’s, long cherished dream of my father, a college teacher-one of the best paying job in India then, was to win Maharashtra State’s lottery that offered the highest prize of 2.5 lac rupees and retire!).

Money has brought self-righteousness- “Since I am making lots of money, what I am doing is right and moral. I don’t need any additional soft-skills. I will not mend my ways.”

Like Americans, we associate wealth with personal merit or poverty with personal failure. We don’t want to be a loser. There is no incertitude, no dilemmas. Destination is known. Road is well traveled. In a sub or super one-lac-rupees car!


Artist: R K Laxman Times of India September 1, 2007