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, June 08, 2008

Have you read M F Husain Version of Ramayana?

U.R. Ananthamurthy says: “The only two languages that are understood all over the country are the Ramayana and the Mahabharata.” (India Today, August 20, 2007)

I know there are many versions of these two ‘languages’ but don’t know which one M F Husain uses.

This refers to “Politics of Art” by GPD from Economic & Political Weekly dated May 17, 2008.

GPD sounds naïve even comic when he compares “blasphemy” of Saint Janabai संत जनाबाई with insensitivity, ignorance and plain mischievousness of M F Husain. He seems to be carried away by the fact that Husian hails from Pandharpur पंढरपुर.

On this subject, I wish to quote the late Durga Bhagwat दुर्गा भागवत, who all her life defended freedom of expression, challenged the dictators like Indira Gandhi when most intellectuals were silent and fought culture-vultures of Maharashtra while defending Marathi author Bhau Padhye भाऊ पाध्ये who was accused of obscenity.

“…why does Husian draw Seeta sitting on the tail of Lord Maruti flying across the sky? And that too naked one? Obviously religious people will get angry, won’t they? Basically Husain has not read Ramayana is obvious because no where in Ramayana, Maruti carries Seeta. In Ashok-vana, he offers Seeta that he would transport her on his shoulder safely. Seeta declines the offer because she wants Rama to go there personally, slay Ravana and free her. That shows Seeta’s confidence in Rama and also pride. Without considering this context, drawing revealing pictures of Hindu goddesses has to be considered objectionable. Such pictures are naturally going to hurt the sentiments of religious people. Not just that even a religious Muslim may not like this insult of gods of other religions.”

In the same book, Ms. Bhagwat dares likes of GPD to defend the right of Salman Rushdie to write “The Satanic Verses”.

(Source- ऐसपैस गप्पा : दुर्गाबाईंशी लेखक प्रतिभा रानडे “Aispais Gappa: Durgabainshi” by Pratibha Ranade, Rajhans Prakashan, November 1998)


Artist: Alan Dunn The New Yorker 22 April 1961