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."

Will Self: “To attempt to write seriously is always, I feel, to fail – the disjunction between my beautifully sonorous, accurate and painfully affecting mental content, and the leaden, halting sentences on the page always seems a dreadful falling short. It is this failure – a ceaseless threnody keening through the writing mind – that dominates my working life, just as an overweening sense of not having loved with enough depth or recklessness or tenderness dominates my personal one.”

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."

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Nighty Purge Campaign in Pune?

When I was growing up in Miraj, it was quite common to see middle-class men walking out in pyjamas.

This blog has already commented on a similar habit of today's Pune residents. Read it here.

Therefore, it was quite amusing to read a report in Business Line on December 14, 2008:

"Community leaders in Shanghai are trying to break up the love affair of some city residents with walking outside in their pyjamas, state media has reported.

The Rixin neighbourhood committee in the city's north-east has begun a campaign to discourage residents' longstanding habit of wearing pyjamas out of their bedrooms and on the streets, the state-run Youth Daily reported.

"We're telling people not to wear pyjamas in the street because it looks very uncivilised," community official Guo Xilin was quoted as saying.

The Shanghainese habit of wearing pyjamas in public emerged alongside China's economic reforms over the past 30 years as it became a sign of prosperity, because it meant people did not sleep in tattered old clothes.

For a still visibly large number of Shanghainese, wearing pyjamas outside has become more a way of life than a fashion statement, and to outsiders, the phenomenon is part of the city's charm.

Guo, however, called pyjama-wearers "visual pollution" and a public embarrassment to the city.

But some residents still argue wearing pyjamas is perfectly acceptable.

"Pyjamas are also a type of clothes. It's comfortable, and it's no big deal since everyone wears them outside," a retiree surnamed Ge was quoted as saying.

Rixin's pyjama purge campaign is not the first of its kind - in the 1990s Shanghai officials put up signs and ran education campaigns to tell people not to stroll around in night gowns.

The campaign's managers eventually gave up."

I wonder why there are no such campaigns in India.

Artist: Barbara Shermund, The New Yorker, 18 Apr 1936