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."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Is Non Resident Maharashtrian Just a P-L-Deshpande-Book-Eating Lobster Robot?

Non Resident Indians based in USA keep coming under fire from different quarters- Vasant Sarwate, R K Laxman, Ramachandra Guha, Gurcharan Das etc.

But no attack I read has been as vitriolic as this one. It is targeted at Non Resident Maharashtrians.

I found it handy for The New Yorker Cartoon Caption contest # 161.

GPD EPW Issue : VOL 43 No. 28 July 12 - July 18, 2008

“…The NRMs have decided to celebrate the language that they rarely if at all speak. But they cannot be blamed. Their relatives and friends do not speak it either…

… A number of them went to modest schools in Pune, Nagpur or Mumbai. They perhaps read some books then. Most of them must have read the grand icon of the middle classes, P L Deshpande. They would remember a few of his jokes and witticisms. They would have seen some DVDs of his one-man performances. Whatever little Marathi they might speak there would be for telling each other PL’s “jokes”. Not for any reason is he called “Maharashtrache Ladke Vyaktimatva” (Maharashtra’s icon). Of course there is no reason why they cannot or should not celebrate their icons. And, after all, “PL” was no ordinary writer.

But then the point is that it amounts to nostalgia for those years of lower middle class living. The NRMs do not give the benefits of being cyber slaves. An occasional return to culture and tradition leaves them in peace with themselves and with their past…

… Most of the NRMs are cyber slaves in the Silicon Valley. They have no clue as to what is happening in the world of Marathi letters…”



Artist: Michael Crawford The New Yorker Sept 22 2008 Cartoon Caption contest 161

Proposed caption:

“Hey, so you are not just a P-L-Deshpande-book-eating lobster robot from the Silicon Valley. You are trying to clasp the culture.”