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, June 03, 2008

Mothers and Sparrows Don’t Thrive on Neglect

I always took my mother and a sparrow for granted.

And why not. They were the two species I sighted most during my childhood. The story millions of Maharashtrians most heard- in Marathi- in their childhood was that of a sparrow and a crow.

The story runs something like this: a sparrow builds her nest using wax and a crow builds his using cow-dung. A rainfall washes out crow’s nest and he goes to sparrow’s nest asking for a shelter. Sparrow refuses to oblige, giving one reason after another.

Although I now refuse to believe that crows are that stupid, I enjoyed the story especially when my mother told it in her clear diction.

My mother now is gone and they say sparrow too may be on its way. Read Outlook India story here.

Therefore, these days every time I spot a sparrow, I get the same pleasure as I may get finding dinosaur bones.

I have learnt one hard lesson. Unlike some flower, mothers and sparrows don’t thrive on neglect.

(Isn't picture below apart from its other qualities just poetic?)


Artist: Perry Barlow The New Yorker 10 April 1948