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!"

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."

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."

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Guests Who Came In from the Cold. And Got Noticed!

Writing for Outlook Magazine October 15, 2007, Khushwant Singh said:

“…There is not enough about nature in Outlook. The only magazine which has made it a regular feature is Frontline. But it tends to be scholastic, with limited readership appeal.

Outlook could not only explain phenomena like the disappearance of vultures, sparrows, frogs, fireflies and moths during the rainy season but also have more stories about human-animal bonding.

Besides dogs like Vinod's Editor, cats, parrots and partridges, there are plenty of stories of humans with pet donkeys, goats, hens, squirrels, lizards, cows, buffaloes, camels etc, which are very heartwarming.”

After reading this and reading it aloud, I did my own stock taking.

My wife and son next day showed me a frog. We still spot sparrows and moths but they have considerably reduced in number and their arrival inside the house is a novelty now. And I haven’t seen a vulture and fireflies for years now.

Indian newspapers too have so little on nature. I am talking about the nature around me in urban sprawls, and not in some distant Chandrapur or Himalayas. (Sorry Maruti Chitampalli मारुती चित्तमपल्ली, you have written so well on Indian wild life. But I am not talking abour your kind of writing.)

For example, as I was writing this, I saw a small stray cat chasing a full size mongoose. I couldn't follow the duo. I wonder what happened. During my school days, I used to follow big ants मुंगळे for hours.

Every tree, weed, flower, insect, amphibian, bird and mammal has a story to tell and some one needs to hear and tell it. Similar to what Durga Bhagwat दुर्गा भागवत did it in her Rutu Chakra ऋतुचक्र (1956).

I am particularly impressed with Verlyn Klinkenborg of The New York Times who writes about such things regularly. Or read two excellent articles on the subject of ants in NYT November 13, 2007.

Thankfully, Marathi newspapers couldn’t ignore colourful guests who have barged in this month.

Lokmat November 18, 2007 has the following story on migratory birds.

I wonder to which airport lounge following board belongs!

Artist: James Stevenson The New Yorker 22 Apr 1974