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."

Monday, April 13, 2009

Piano as an Aquarium Bar

The Times of India (April 10, 2009) has reported passing away of Shakti Samanta without mentioning "An Evening in Paris"(1967).

This was like omitting "Hamlet" from Shakespeare's obituary!

The music of "An Evening in Paris" was composed by Shankar Jaikishan.

Shankar Jaikishan and R D Burman were arguably the most prolific users of piano in Hindi cinema. (It was R D who composed one of the greatest piano songs of Hindi cinema: "pyaar diwaanaa hotaa hai, mastaanaa hotaa hain
har khushee se, har gam se, begaanaa hotaa hain" for Shakti Samanta's Kati Patang [1970] )

I just love piano: its look- majestic like an elephant- and its sound.

Piano was embraced by Indian film industry in 1930’s. Keshavrao Bhole केशवराव भोळे at Prabhat प्रभात was the first to use instruments such as the piano, the Hawaiian guitar and the violin in his compositions.

I have seen a lot of pianos in Hindi films but little of them in real life.

There are so many hummable Hindi film songs where a hero or a heroine is banging away at the piano (to be precise: pretending to do so as almost none of them knew/knows how to play it), onlookers are standing or moving around with a glass in their hands, the story is galloping forward.

Recall Brahmachari (1968):

“Dil Ke Jharoke Mein Tujko Bithakar
Yadoon Ko Teri Maein Dulhan Banakar
Rakhoonga Maein Dil Ke Paas
Mat Ho Meri Jaan Udaas,
Dil Ke Jharoke...”


Piano has always seemed a lot of real estate for me because I have lived largely in small houses. Therefore, I have always wondered: What else can it be put to use?

Here is an idea: aquarium-cum-bar.


Artist: P. C. Vey, The New Yorker, April 13 2009, Cartoon Caption Contest #188