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.”

Shel Silverstein : “Talked my head off Worked my tail off Cried my eyes out Walked my feet off Sang my heart out So you see, There’s really not much left of me.” ~

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."

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Phantom महाबली वेताळ in My Classroom. Speaking Marathi.

NYT editorial of January 3, 2008- “Comic Books in the Classroom”- said:

“Generations of children grew up reading comic books on the sly, hiding out from parents and teachers who saw them as a waste of time and a hazard to young minds. Comics are now gaining a new respectability at school. That is thanks to an increasingly popular and creative program, often aimed at struggling readers, that encourages children to plot, write and draw comic books, in many cases using themes from their own lives…

…Teachers are finding it easier to teach writing, grammar and punctuation with material that students are fully invested in. And it turns out that comic books have other built-in advantages. The pairing of visual and written plotlines that they rely on appear to be especially helpful to struggling readers. No one is suggesting that comic books should substitute for traditional books or for standard reading and composition lessons. Teachers who would once have dismissed comics out of hand are learning to exploit a genre that clearly has a powerful hold on young minds. They are using what works.”

I know the power of comic books.

When I grew up, no one (yes, including Shivaji) captivated me more than Phantom, Mahabali Vetal महाबली वेताळ in Marathi. I read and re-read exploits of Phantom and Mandrake, published as part of Indrajal Comics series by Bennett, Coleman & Co

Those heroes’ families became mine.

Bheem of Mahabharat was strong as Lothar, Mandrake as clever as Shivaji. When Princess Diana died I felt sad because she had the same name of Phantom’s wife!

Kolhapur had many attractions for me. One of them was my cousin’s collection of Phantom and Mandrake books. I knew by heart all those books. They were translated in Marathi with some chutzpah.

I have never understood why Phantom comics books were not published in Marathi later.

I wish I had the help of Phantom to learn Newton’s laws and Diana’s help to understand working of the United Nations!

Marathi newspaper Sakal सकाळ on January 18, 2007 reported: “अल्लाद्दिन, टारझन, मोगली आता मराठीतून 'बोलणार'!” (“Aladdin, Tarzan, Moguli now to ‘speak’ in Marathi”)

Poor Sakal. It doesn’t even mention the rich world of Phantom in Marathi that came to pass.

5 comments:

nitin said...

phantom,a character created by lee falk and caricatured by Sy Barry, is largely influenced by the theory of white man's superiority and a dictum " white man's burden", a popular theory before WW1, SO LET THIS CHARACTER DIE PEACEFULLY.

aniruddha g. kulkarni said...

Thanks Nitin.

It's possible.

But I don't care. I enjoyed phantom and will continue do so if they publish him in Marathi!

By the way, I love Guran too! One day Guran will be on the horse-back and Phantom will be his assistant.

I am hoping India as a country will do the same and will bury the ghosts of Kipling once and for all!

Long live Phantom. And Guran.

waman said...

There are a few efforts by Anant pai through Amar Chitra Katha. But somehow it didn't gather that popularity like Mandrake & Phantom. I remeber, once upon a time, there was one regular strip narating famous "Animal Farm" novel and it used to come in "Navashakti" a Marathi newspaper with Marathi translation at the bottom.I searched for it later, but could not found its source.
Waman Karnik

aniruddha g. kulkarni said...

Thnaks for info Waman.

I sometimes feel we Indians are so busy in "surviving" that we forget to document what went before us. They say they never throw away a paper in England. They should say they never keep a paper in India!

Do you know D G Godse also was a cartoonist for a while? I learnt it the other day from Sarwate's book.

I used to like strips of Bhaiyyasaheb Omkar. I still remember his depiction of Nathmadhav's Veerdhaval.

I don't think there would be more than one copy of his strips. And even that one copy would be inaccessible to people like me.

One of the objectives of this blog is to bring up contributions of people who are now gone.

mangesh said...

Dear Aniruddha & Waman,
The message from Waman has reminded me my olden days of reading daily strip of Animal Farm in Navashakti. You will not surprised to read that I tried to find the novel out of curiocity.Thanks a lot.
Mangesh Nabar