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: "… . . 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."

Thursday, December 03, 2009

B S Mardhekar is Now 100

Had he lived, B S Mardhekar (बा. सी. मर्ढेकर) would have turned 100 on Dec 1, 2009.

(btw- Year 2009-10 is rich with centenaries. Watch this space for my favourites Baburao Arnalkar बाबूराव अर्नाळकर, N G Kalelkar ना गो कालेलकर & D K Bedekar दि के बेडेकर to make maiden and Durga Bhagwat दुर्गा भागवत & Setu Madhavrao Pagadi सेतु माधवराव पगडी to make one more appearance on this blog.)

Mardhekar has been this blog's favourite.

See previous entries on him here.

My love for him has diminished slightly in last few years.

It's largely because of the late M V Dhond (म वा धोंड).

Although Dhond has done more than any other to interpret Mardhekar for us, he rated him far lower than the Marathi saint poets. On phone with me, Dhond was almost dismissive of Mardhekar when I spoke reverently about him.

W H Auden and T S Eliot, Mardhekar's idols, were great poets of 20th century. He too was a very good poet but greatness certainly eluded him.

I am not complaining though. I am happy with his 'shadja'(षड्ज) that is lower but smiling.

अस्थाईवर पुन्हा परतलों,
चुकून गेला पहा अंतरा;
ढिल्या गळ्यावर षड्ज बांधणें
अतां खालचा परंतु हंसरा.

15 comments:

mannab said...

Several Marathi readers do not understand poems of late Shri. B.S.Mardhekar, head or tail despite professors like Smt.Vijaya Rajyadhyaksh try to interpet them.Recently poet Shri.Manohar Naik from Goa has written a voluminous book, "Mrugajalaachyaa Laataa", critisizing the book by her.Loksatta, a Marathi daily made a special Sunday supplement on Mardhekar but did not mention about Naik's book. I think you may read this book by Naik before praising B.S.
Mangesh Nabar

Mugdha said...

Hey Aniruddha,

So nice to see your blog. I am Mardhekar's great-grand daughter and was really pleased to see that he's one of your favorites. My email id is navmugdha@gmail.com. Would you care to drop a word there? Thanks in advance!

- Mugdha

aniruddha g. kulkarni said...

Thanks for the info Mangesh.

I really appreciate it.

aniruddha g. kulkarni said...

Thanks Mugdha.

So internet brought your great-grandpa, you and I together?

Your ggpa was fascinated by "yellow aerials" on roof-tops when he composed: "बन बांबूंचे पिवळया गातें
आकाशांतिल अधोरेखितें;..." (I am told radio aerials back then used to be yellow.)

I often wonder what he would say about internet.

Anonymous said...

तुमचा ब्लॉग फारच कंटेंट रिच आहे.
मर्ढेकरांच्या कविता शोधता शोधता मी येथे आलो.
मला त्यांच्या कविता नीट उमजत नाहीत. But I want to learn how to appreciate it. उदहरणार्थ ह्या चार ओळी...

गणपत वाणी बिडी बापडा
पितांपितांना मरून गेला;
एक मागता डोळे दोन
देव देतसे जन्मांधाला!


अख्या कवितेत त्यांनी गणपत वाण्याचे रसहीन जीवन वर्णिले आहे. ह्या शेवटच्य ओळींचा कही संबंध लागत नाही.
I will be grateful if you could shed some light on it.

:)

Keep writing...

Abhinav

Anonymous said...

Great minds think alike........................................

aniruddha g. kulkarni said...

Thanks Abhinav.

Every good poem has 1000 faces. Therefore, its 'meaning' is always subjective.

We are all Ganpat-vani's. Buddha has said: life is suffering. Vani may have asked god for something mundane. But in death, in his release from the misery of life, perhaps he received his ultimate blessing!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Anirudha for that wonderful insight.

Hooked on to your blog. Keep writing. :)

Abhinav

aniruddha g. kulkarni said...

Thanks Abhinav.

There are some excellent books in Marathi on the art of appreciation.

I recommend following authors: Vinoba Bhave, D G Godse, Durga Bhagwat, M V Dhond, Ashok Shahane, Vilas Sarang, Vasant Sarwate.

For Mardhekar, read M V Dhond's Tarīhi Yeto Wasa Phulānnā (Rajhans Prakashan, 1999)

aniruddha g. kulkarni said...

And, I clumsily forgot it, Dilip Chitre.

Anonymous said...

Yeah.. I have seen Vinoba Bhave and D G Godse's name coming up quite a few times in recent posts.

My information on Vinoba Bhave was limited to his books on Bhagwad Gita.

Tarihi Yeto Vaas Phulanna is my next purchase :)

Thanks and Regards,
Abhinav

Anonymous said...

Yeah.. I have seen Vinoba Bhave and D G Godse's name coming up quite a few times in recent posts.

My information on Vinoba Bhave was limited to his books on Bhagwad Gita.

Tarihi Yeto Vaas Phulanna is my next purchase :)

Thanks and Regards,
Abhinav

aniruddha g. kulkarni said...

No one else has written in Marathi on Indian poet saints- and not just Marathi speaking ones- as well as Vinoba.

And our poet saints are among the best artists humanity produced since the start of the history.

mannab said...

Dear Aniruddha,
I have been reading with deep interest all of your comments on late Shri Mardhekar who has started a sort of new wave in Marathi poems. But what he wrote was beyond our understanding in simpler way. A poet always writes in his own style and sometimes it requires help from inteluctuals. Mardhekar was again an exception to all the poets.
Mangesh Nabar

aniruddha g. kulkarni said...

Mangesh,

I don't think Mardhekar started a new wave.

"Wave creators" in Marathi were first Dnyaneshwar (13th century) and then Tukaram-Ramdas (17th century).

If at all anything new was started in 19/20th century, in Marathi poetry, it was by Keshavsut and Balkavi.

Gangadhar Gadgil called Mardhekar, second Keshavsut. He was probably right. Mardhekar's output of good poems is not much larger than that of Keshavsut and Balkavi.

I feel the greatest Marathi language poet since the dawn of 18th century is Arun Kolatkar, although he is a dwarf in front of the giants of Marathi poetry: Dnyaneshwar, Namdev, Eknath, Tukaram, Ramdas.