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."

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Y D Phadke य दि फडके No More

Yesterday afternoon I spoke to Vasant Sarwate. I thanked him for sending me two of his books. I read his obit of Ramesh Mantri रमेश मंत्री and felt sad.

Little did I know by evening I would be sadder.

I have created five entries pf prominent Marathi speaking personalities in English Wiki- Vasant Sarwate, D G Godse, M V Dhond, Y D Phadke, T S Shejwalkar.

Four of them are now dead.

I couldn't have imagined that it would happen so soon after M V Dhond.

19th/20th century Maharashtra produced some great historians.

V K Rajwade, Riyasatkar Sardesai, Vasudevshastri Khare, T S Shejwalkar...

Y D Phadke easily fitted in that tradition.

Unlike Shejwalkar, he was not great original thinker but focused on hard data and facts.

When Ramachandra Guha wrote "A Corner of a Foreign Field", I suggested him to check his fundamental thesis with Phadke.

I like all of his books but particularly like Nathuramayan नथुरामायण. He is not much known outside Marathi reading world because most of his work is not translated in English.

Non-Marathi reading world is poorer for it!

8 comments:

Nikheel Shaligram said...

Yes, Aniruddha, what you wrote is absolutely correct.

Dr Phadke, once convinced about the veracity of his source, always put it in the right perspective

Maharashtra has a noteworthy tradition of scholar-historians whose concept of history was no different from that of Ranke who said ‘facts reveal themselves.’ Those who spent lifetime in search of collecting fresh historical documents and left no stone unturned correcting historical aberrations committed by earlier historians began with the doyen V.K.Rajwade. AK Priyolkar and Professor NR Phatak belonged to the same school.

Phadke was in that sense a disciple of Professor Phatak whose approach was multi-disciplinary and who believed in the aphorism ‘History should be viewed from the Bench and not from the Bar’.

What is more important is the fact that once convinced about the veracity of a source material, Dr Phadke, like his peers, never hesitated to put it in the right perspective and did not backtrack despite fiercest of opposition.

Nikheel Shaligram

mangesh said...

It was a discussion, during which I saw him, when Ya.Di. was quite energetic. He narrated one decison of Kashi math. Saraswat Brahmins were allowed their 6 rights equally like all Brahmins.
It was a pleasure to listeh to him.

Mangesh Nabar

aniruddha g. kulkarni said...

Nikheel/ Mangesh, Thanks.

Nikheel has rightly mentioned the aberrations. They started with Rajwade. Read Shejwalkar on Rajwade.

I admire Phadke's approach but I prefer Shejwalkar and Rajwade as they are ready to take more "risks". They have a hypothesis. More importantly they want to predict the future based on the past. Otherwise there is a real danger of history becoming just "interesting".

Paul Krugman has written about this danger in his review of David Lades's "The Wealth and Poverty of Nations":

“…In the end, what both books left me with was a sense of the inadequacy of narrative history as a guide to action. No matter how many interesting stories you may tell about the past, they are just that - stories - unless they are brought to bear on some hypothesis about how the world works. History is useful because it is a laboratory, in which time and chance have performed experiments that can confirm or reject our ideas. But you can't learn anything from those experiments unless you are actually willing to state your ideas clearly in the first place.
So I ask myself: what do Yergin and Stanislaw and Landes actually believe? And the answer, which seems to me to be damning, is that I am not sure. I think Yergin and Stanislaw approve of the move to the market, but I have had to pick that up by osmosis - or as a colleague of mine puts it, the economic moral is conveyed by innuendo, rather than stated in any way that could be refuted. And for all the erudition in Landes's book, I am a loss to tell you what economic policies he might prescribe for any particular country.
So I am still waiting for a book that helps me understand what really happened in this utterly perplexing century, when the world moved decisively away from the market, then equally decisively back. The one thing I know is that whoever writes that book will have to be a person unafraid of offering theories as well as facts, and therefore of saying things that might turn out to be wrong.”

waman said...

Dear Aniruddha,
It's great to see your post first time in the new year 2008. Y.D.Phadke was a prominent Marathi personality. I expect moe such posts from you from time to time, as in the past.
Waman Karnik

aniruddha g. kulkarni said...

Thanks Waman.

I am still in part-time mode which may remain for some more time.

I wonder if we will make likes of Y D Phadke again.

Nandan said...

Namaskar Aniruddha, a friend of mine is looking for some of Dr. Phadke's books - NathuramayaN and Shodh savarakarancha should be available. But I am not so sure about -
1. Dr. Ambedkaranche Marekari Arun Sauri (that's how his wikipage mentions the title. Is it correct?)

and

2. Ambedkari Chalaval

(Also couple of English books - Maharashtra in 20th century and Women in Maharashtra).

Would you know where in Mumbai/Pune he can get these? Thanks for your help.

aniruddha g. kulkarni said...

Namaskar Nandan,

Yes, NathuramayaN and Shodh savarakarancha are available.

And so are Shodh Bal-gopalancha and multi-volume history of 20th century Maharashtra.

I have been looking for "Dr. Ambedkaranche Marekari- Arun Sauri" (Arun Shourie actually) for a long time. I guess it's out of print. (Recently, I got P K Atre's excellent book on Dr. Ambedkar)

At Pune, your friend can get them at most book shops in Appa Balwant chowk. Or best is to wait for an exhibition at Acharya Atre hall that is held once in two months or so.

I have limited experience of buying Marathi books online. I have only bought them from Popular Prakashan's website. They sell only their books.

In Mumbai, best shops for Marathi books for me were Bombay book depot (Grant road), Ideal (Dadar west)...

If I get to know anything more, I will touch base.

best,

Nandan said...

Thanks for the prompt reply, Aniruddha. I've conveyed this information to him. Since he'll be getting the books here, I'm eager to read them as well :)