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!"
Martin Amis: “Gogol is funny, Tolstoy in his merciless clarity is funny, and Dostoyevsky, funnily enough, is very funny indeed; moreover, the final generation of Russian literature, before it was destroyed by Lenin and Stalin, remained emphatically comic — Bunin, Bely, Bulgakov, Zamyatin. The novel is comic because life is comic (until the inevitable tragedy of the fifth act);...”
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."
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: "… इ. स. 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."
Friday, July 10, 2009
Amitabh Bachchan, We Just Fall Apart
His blog has these beautiful lines from his father's Madhushala:
बनी रहें अंगूर लताएँ जिनसे मिलती है हाला,
बनी रहे वह मिटटी जिससे बनता है मधु का प्याला,
बनी रहे वह मदिर पिपासा तृप्त न जो होना जाने,
बनें रहें ये पीने वाले, बनी रहे यह मधुशाला।।
On July 8 2009, he writes there:
“…I was due to travel out tonight but a small problem has arisen. I developed a pain in the stomach much like the one I got last birthday. And it happened just when I was getting set to leave from London. So I travelled home in order that I may be in a climate that understands my condition, rather than stay back in alien country and subject myself to a medical from those that are unaware of my history. I drove straight to my doctor on arrival late last night and after some external physical examinations was subjected to CT scans this morning. The results do not show anything, but the trouble exists, albeit in a much smaller scale than the last time. Some more tests have been advised tomorrow. I have therefore postponed my travel until there is a fix on the problem and a possible line of treatment. I would not want to get moving again and land up in unknown territory and end up in hospital. Its disturbing to be in such state. Frustrating that despite extreme care a repetition of this problem keeps occurring…”
It makes sad reading.
Note: “Frustrating that despite extreme care a repetition of this problem keeps occurring.”
Dr. Atul Gawande has tried to answer it in the New Yorker April 30, 2007:
“…The idea that living things shut down and not just wear down has received substantial support in the past decade…
Today, the average life span in developed countries is almost eighty years. If human life spans depend on our genetics, then medicine has got the upper hand. We are, in a way, freaks living well beyond our appointed time. So when we study aging what we are trying to understand is not so much a natural process as an unnatural one. Inheritance has surprisingly little influence on longevity…
If our genes explain less than we imagined, the wear-and-tear model may explain more than we knew…
Nonetheless, as the defects in a complex system increase, the time comes when just one more defect is enough to impair the whole, resulting in the condition known as frailty. It happens to power plants, cars, and large organizations. And it happens to us: eventually, one too many joints are damaged, one too many arteries calcify. There are no more backups. We wear down until we can’t wear down anymore…
I spoke to Felix Silverstone, who for twenty-four years was the senior geriatrician at the Parker Jewish Institute, in New York, and has published more than a hundred studies on aging. There is, he said, “no single, common cellular mechanism to the aging process.” Our bodies accumulate lipofuscin and oxygen free-radical damage and random DNA mutations and numerous other microcellular problems. The process is gradual and unrelenting. “We just fall apart,” he said…”
बनी रहे यह मधुशाला...It will perhaps
बनें रहें ये पीने वाले....Never
‘Never bite old people, son, they all taste of statins.’
The Spectator, 2009