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, April 20, 2008

Will the President of India Receive Shankaracharya the way the Pope was in US?

George W. Bush and his family never looked happier on TV than when they received the pope at the White House. They celebrated pope’s birthday there. With more imagination, they could have got him to conduct Mass on the lawns.

BBC claimed it was the grandest reception ever seen at the White House.

I wondered if any head of the state in India would receive any religious leader in similar fashion.

I bet even L K Advani would not do it. India’s first prime minister J L Nehru frowned upon the overt religiosity of India’s first president- Rajendra Parsad.

The White House ceremony also partly explained why some of my Hindu NRI cousins and friends have turned rabidly religious since they went to USA.

America is a Christian nation and has been one since its birth. No wonder it’s always working on promising new treatments for what it calls ‘heresies’ around the world.


Artist: Ed Fisher The New Yorker 4 December 1989