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."

Chris Ware: "Being a cartoonist means you don’t consider yourself too fancy."

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: "संदर्भ कुठलेही असोत, संस्कृत, इंग्रजी, बुद्धिवादी, तांत्रिक, इतिहासाचे, खगोलशास्त्राचे, आधुनिक पदार्थविज्ञानाचे, शिवकालीन पेशवाईतील बखरीचे, अगणित ज्ञानक्षेत्रांचे, अशा वैविध्यपूर्ण ज्ञानावर लेखन- विशेषत: कवितालेखन- उभं राहत."

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Greatest Hit of Marathi Stage Turned 125 and Rise of Indian Metrosexuality

George Orwell:”The only true test of artistic merit is survival.”

“Musical Saubhadra”, Lord Krishna blessed love story of Subhadra and Arjun, by Annasaheb Kirloskar (संगीत सौभद्र, अण्णासाहेब किर्लोस्कर), the biggest hit of 19th and 20th century Maharashtra, completed 125 years of its staging on November 18, 2007.

D G Godse द ग गोडसे and M V Dhond म वा धोंड have written memorable essays on the subject of Marathi stage.

Godse in his essay “centenarian Saubhadra” (शातायुषी सौभद्र, included in his book नांगी असलेले फुलपाखरू, 1989), written to celebrate centenary of the play said:

“...The play is essentially a farce but its structure and development are not foreign but native and in the nature of folk play…

The inspiration could also have come from recently published English historical romantic novels…

Saubhadra, tender and entertaining, never becomes serious but never crosses the limits of good taste...

The play featured for the first time bedroom scene on Marathi stage, done boldly, confidently but tastefully, with restraint…”

Main characters of the play are Krishna, Balaram, Arjun, Subhadra, Rukmini, Narada, Satyaki and among them they sing about 100 songs!

Dhond says:"...Shankararaav Mujumadaar शंकरराव मुजुमदार who played Rukmini couldn't sing. Therefore, Rukmini who moves among the people who sing at the drop of a hat was given no song by Kirloskar!"

Subhadra in later years was played by Marathi stage legends like Balgandharva बालगंधर्व and Keshavrao Bhosale केशवराव भोंसले.

Imitating Balgandharva, college-going young men from all over Maharashtra used to dress like women, get photographed and carry the picture around proudly.
Is this the birth of modern Indian metrosexual man?

If Saubhadra is the greatest comedy of Marathi stage, “One More Glass” by R G Gadkari (1885-1919)[एकच प्याला, राम गणेश गडकरी] is perhaps its greatest tragedy. It soon will complete its own century.

Dhond is his book “Moon of the Fourth Day” (चंद्र चवथिचा, 1987) claims that prodigally talented Gadkari almost invented The Theatre of the Absurd which was later done by Samuel Beckett and Eugène Ionesco.

Are women in the picture below watching Saubhadra?


Artist: Peter Arno April 10, 1926