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."

Friday, October 03, 2008

What is Deadliest? Traffic,Temple Queues and Terrorism. In that Order.

We are not driven around in a chauffeur driven car. We don't live in a gated community. Our family has to worry about bombs.

But I am more worried about Pune traffic.

Recently my wife and I met with an accident. Luckily for us we were not knocked down by a truck.

It had to happen. Stochastic Processes.

I go for a morning walk. My wife's cousin has warned me that the benefits that accrue to me by that walk are offset by the risk I take by walking on a busy Pune road for almost an hour.

Another "deadly place" in today's India is a queue of devotees.
Times of India said on October 1, 2008:

"NEW DELHI: Stampedes are bigger killers in India than bomb blasts that so dramatically capture our mindspace. In 2008 alone so far, over 360 people lost their life in major stampedes compared to 156 killed by bomb blasts.

This year is not an aberration. Data collated for the last nearly nine years shows that while 875 people have lost their lives in stampedes that were big enough to make the national press, 766 have been killed by terror bombs.

The actual number killed in stampedes may be even higher. What we have collated is based on press reports, since no centralized data base exists for such incidents, unlike with terror attacks. It is also clear that single bomb blasts rarely kill people in the kind of large numbers that are associated with stampedes..."

Luckily my family does not visit popular temples.

I wonder why people get so upset about terrorist bombs but not about deadlier traffic and temple queues. Is it because they think something can be done about terrorism but nothing about traffic and temple queues?


Artist: Sudhir Tailang Asian Age October 1, 2008