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.”

H. P. Lovecraft: "What a man does for pay is of little significance. What he is, as a sensitive instrument responsive to the world's beauty, is everything!"

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."

Chris Ware: "Being a cartoonist means you don’t consider yourself too fancy."

Justin E.H. Smith: “One should of course take seriously serious efforts to improve society. But when these efforts fail, in whole or in part, it is only humor that offers redemption. So far, human expectations have always been strained, and have always come, give or take a bit, to nothing. In this respect reality itself has the form of a joke, and humor the force of truth.”

विलास सारंग: "संदर्भ कुठलेही असोत, संस्कृत, इंग्रजी, बुद्धिवादी, तांत्रिक, इतिहासाचे, खगोलशास्त्राचे, आधुनिक पदार्थविज्ञानाचे, शिवकालीन पेशवाईतील बखरीचे, अगणित ज्ञानक्षेत्रांचे, अशा वैविध्यपूर्ण ज्ञानावर लेखन- विशेषत: कवितालेखन- उभं राहत."

Friday, November 28, 2008

I may have Escaped the Shells but was Destroyed by it

When Suredra Paul was brutally murdered by militants in Assam near Chabua on May 9 1990, my wife and I almost heard the gunshots of AK-47 because we lived only a few kilometers away from the scene.

Later we came to know that there was a weapon called AK-47 and that it was easily and cheaply available in Assam.

I still remember the eerie afternoon.

Many such afternoons have now come and gone.

In the wee hours of November 8, 1990, we left our homes on a gun-mounted military truck before being airlifted from Sookerting airfield of the RAW to dodge the bullets of Ulfa.

To paraphrase Erich Maria Remarque, I may have escaped the shells but was destroyed by the experience.

I loved Assam and was forced to flee from it. Only the deaths of my mother and aunt have pained me more.

It’s another November, 18 years later, all over again.


Artist: Gahan Wilson The New Yorker December 1 2008 Cartoon Caption Contest 171

My caption

"Wouldn’t it be your worst nightmare if these girls came to life, took the hacksaw behind you, pressed your head against the counter and sawed it off ? Now, you may begin to imagine what happened to the people of Mumbai on the night of November 26”