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."

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Scratch it!

Asian Age informed on February 2, 2008: “Scratching does ease the itch you get.”

Big deal. As if I didn’t know this.

Well, what they mean is that scientists now have found reasons why scratching is pleasurable.

In 1978, I was infected with scabies खरूज, king of all skin ailments in India. I got it from my dear friend “Ravya“ R E Bedekar. I very well knew that scabies was contagious but took no precaution. In no time, scabies had spread even to my genitals.

For few days it was still not diagnosed. Home remedies were being tried.
Then I saw our family Ayurvedic doctor – (Dr. Adivrekar). He asked me if I had visited any hooker or, if not, if I wore clothes of someone who did. It was a bad time to receive the diagnosis. My mother had just undergone a major operation and was still in the hospital.

I felt scared.

To get second opinion, I saw our family allopathic doctor (Dr. Sathe) who immediately diagnosed it- to my lasting relief- as scabies and prescribed me a white lotion (I forget its name but will recognize its smell even today) and some tablets. My sister helped me apply the lotion.

Venerable education expert Dr. Chitra Naik- who along with her husband J P Naik have done so much to promote education in India- once told her television interviewer that she always carried skin ointment while traveling to villages because it acted as a passport to a home in rural India where at least one member of a largish household suffered from scabies!

At a global IT giant where I worked, I always admired gall (pun intended!) of a very senior manager who scratched his genitals, in full view of everyone he was talking to, without a care in the world. I was always amused, never angry by his action. I understood his compulsion!


Artist: Peter Arno The New Yorker 13 June 1931