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."

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