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."

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Marathas Won at Kharda but Nizam has the Last Laugh

Historian WILLIAM DALRYMPLE has written at length about the Nizam’s legacy. (The Guardian and Outlook February 18, 2008).

I couldn’t help chuckle.

Here was the regime about which I have rarely read anything good.

For instance, historian Setu Madhavrao Pagdi’s (सेतु माधवराव पगडी) first hand account of the last days of the Nizam regime from his autobiography-Jeevansetu (जीवनसेतु) 1969- describes how rotten it was.

On March 11, 1795, Marathas vanquished Nizam in the battle of Kharda. For a change all Maratha chieftains fought together.

Nizam’s army had played havoc before the battle. Among other things, they had slaughtered cows in the temple complex at Ambejogai आंबेजोगाई.
(Please note during 1770-1791, many mainly Chitpavan Brahmin chieftains of Maratha army indulged in looting of Hindu shrines including mutts of Shankaracharya and Ramanujacharya. Source- Marhati Lavani by M V Dhond 1956 मर्हाटी लावणी म वा धोंड)

Historian T S Shejwalkar त्र्यंबक शंकर शेजवलकर gave a radio-speech on this battle 'Khardyachi Ladhai' (खर्ड्याची लढाई).

Shejwalkar rued how Marathas wasted the opportunity to eliminate Nizam. He argued how this blunder of Marathas costed Indian union dearly in 1947.

Even today, Nizam and his legacy continue to grab attention and resources.

His Chowmahalla palace complex is being restored to its former glory while Maratha’s Shaniwar Wada शनिवार वाडा continues to languish, remains ghostly.

Princess Esra at the Chowmahalla palace complex (pic courtesy: Outlook)