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."

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