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."

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Crouching Housing, Hidden Sanitation and Slum Dog Billionaire

I am happy for SDM but have always felt that good art needs no certification. Rabindranath would be Rabindranath- Dnyaneshwar ज्ञानेश्वर of Bengali-without the Nobel.

A R Rahman may be very good but Indian cinema has created many similar musical giants since Kundan Lal (K.L.)Saigal. (Wasn't he the tallest of them all?)

David Pilling has written "Can slumdogs become millionaires in India?" in FT February 18, 2009.

He says: "...Why are there no slums in China? China is better run than India, with more powerful city mayors who build basic infrastructure to support wealth-creating migrants. Indian politicians court the rural vote. Corruption corrodes infrastructure plans, though some states, such as Gujarat, are improving. China is authoritarian; when workers are no longer required, they can be shipped back to the countryside. A registration system maintains a strict distinction between urban and rural citizens. Democratic India must not go down this route. But it can learn from China by providing clean water, sewerage and basic housing...

...One critic of the film said it was “inconceivable” that a tea-boy from the slum would be allowed on to a television quiz show. Until that changes, India will only progress so far."

So what Mr. Pilling? Watching "Boot Polish"(1954) and listening to its soulful music, people of this country had tears in their eyes and great hope in their hearts and they have clung on to them since then.

And then we will have SDM-II aka SDB. It will eclipse Godfather-II.

Artist: Sudhir Tailang, The Asian Age, February 24, 2009