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, November 19, 2008

Yes, I Heard Crocodile Bark in Our Bedroom

In July 2008, we have moved to a place that is only a few meters away from one wall of the historical Katraj Lake of Pune.

So far from the balcony of our house, we have managed to spot monkeys running on the wall and storks (?) trying to hunt fish.

But I was not prepared for this excitement:

On November 17, 2008, all newspapers in Pune reported spotting of a crocodile on the banks of Katraj Lake on November 16.

However the coverage left me disappointed. It talks only about fear and commotion among weekend revellers.

There is no sense of awe and curiosity let alone any thing on what poor crocodile must have felt surrounded by ruthless, noisy Homo sapiens. Do we want to experience crocks only on our TV screens?

There also was no mention that perhaps crocks will outlive us on the planet. They surely did “mighty” dinosaurs who once “ruled” the earth the way we do today.

Pune Authorities were sure that the animal would reappear on Nov 17 to sunbathe so that they could “deal” with it. But nature had the last laugh.

Whole of Monday it remained cloudy!

Following iconic cartoon is by legendary artist James Thurber.

Paul Johnson writes of him: “…When aged six, in 1901, his left eye was destroyed by a toy arrow shot by his brother. His mother, a Christian scientist, refused to let his condition be properly treated, and as a result ‘sympathetic ophthalmia’ developed in his right eye, and eventually led to virtual sightlessness. By the time I met him, in 1958 I think, he was effectively blind…”

Artist: James Thurber The New Yorker 30 January 1932