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."

Werner Herzog: “We are surrounded by worn-out, banal, useless and exhausted images, limping and dragging themselves behind the rest of our cultural evolution.”

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, October 29, 2008

Animal Farms of Maharashtra: Hunting in the Name of Gyanba’s Marathi

I consider myself lucky that after spending almost 11 years outside Maharashtra- else where in India- I came back with 5 medals- to put in the words of a US veteran of Iwo Jima: Two Hands, Two Legs and a Head.

Although I didn't speak any of their languages, Tamilians, Bengalis, Assamese (including ULFA), Kannadigas and numerous other language speakers I met did not kill me.

Not just that, most of them were very kind to me. Suckers!

Of course being a Brahmin in today's Maharashtra, I still run a considerable risk of getting hurt in the name of caste.

Artist: Frank Cotham The New Yorker 3 November 2008 Cartoon Caption Contest 167

Proposed Caption:

“Don’t be afraid. I am Chief Minister of Maharashtra. I know you are totally helpless, defenseless in front of armed goons roaming the streets of our major cities, trying to kill you in the name of Marathi. I also know it’s my constitutional duty to protect you…But er…since you stay in Maharashtra, shouldn’t you all be speaking Marathi?”