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, December 09, 2007

The Dolphin is the Cow of the Brahmaputra/ And Brahmaputra is My Mother

Asian Age November 29, 2007 reported: “Brahmaputra’s dolphins dying out”.

My first thought was a deep regret: Although I lived in Assam from 1989-1992 intermittently, I never saw a dolphin even once! My ‘affair’ with Brahmaputra is documented here.

I fell in love with river dolphins after reading Amitav Ghosh’s “The Hungry Tide”(2004).

I liked the book mainly because it has so much 'water' and water-borne objects in it.

I was raised in western Maharashtra, land of hills and stream-like rivers. Those rivers sometimes have no water, let alone hungry tides, crocodiles and dolphins!

Ghosh has portrayed romance between protagonist Piyali Roy and Irrawaddy dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris) with great sensitivity.

Sadly, the book has no pictures. As reported in the press, I hope they don't make a shoddy Hindi film based on the book and instead include pictures of Sundarbans in the next edition.

R K Sinha, a Patna-based ecologist who studies the river’s eco-system intimately says:

"The Ganga has more life in it than a forest; its biodiversity is rich. We know so little because its aquatic life is largely undocumented. The river dolphin is an indicator of the river’s health as it is at the top of the riverine food chain, like the tiger is in a forest. That’s why locals say: “Sons bachao nadi mein,/ naam kamao sadi mein”. (Save the river dolphin,/ earn name and fame.) “Sons Ganga ki gaia hain/ Ganga meri maia hain”. (The dolphin is the cow of the Ganga/ And Ganga is my mother.) … Only some 2,000 dolphins remain today…”

If intelligent dolphins come to know about what we have done to them, they might say...

Artist: Warren Miller The New Yorker 30 December 1991