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."

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Tilak-Agarkar Dogfight...Still Goes On

This blog already commented on the abusive language used by Andhra Pradesh chief minister against his predecessor:

“Why are you feeling so restless. I will thoroughly expose you today…(so much so that)…you will feel ashamed that you were born to your mother, you will feel that you should not have born at all. This is just a preamble.” (Times of India July 24, 2007).

Sonia Gandhi recently called Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi- “Maut Ka Saudagar” (merchant of death). (Wonder what Congress leaders should be called for carnage of Sikhs in Delhi in 1984. "Maut Ke Dalal" Brokers of Death?)

Using extreme profanity in public is not new to India and prominent Indian leaders.

It probably started with Bal Gangadhar Tilak बाळ गंगाधर टिळक (1856-1920) and Gopal Ganesh Agarkar गोपाळ गणेश आगरकर (1856-1895), truly giants of 19th century India. In 1893, they fought mother of all wordy duels.

They used terms like leper, dog afflicted with rabies, murderous, rotten brain, arrogant, mean to describe each other.

Agarkar started it.

(Source- “व्यक्ती आणि विचार” य दि फडके; “Person and Thoughts” Y D Phadke, 1979)

In January 1882, Wikipedia says, telephony was introduced in India but Tilak and Agarkar never spoke to each other on phone.

If they were to...


Artist: Whitney Darrow,Jr. The New Yorker 8 February 1947