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."

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)