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."

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Pipe Down? Think Again. Your Leg, if not Life, Depends on it.

A few weeks ago, I started feeding crows on the balcony of my house and since then I have got a glimpse of their complex society.

No wonder crows are believed to represent our ancestors. (btw-I hope my mother is among those who visit me every day!)

They say the sound of vehicle horns scare the crows away. Even here they are like me!

I was amused to read in FT (April 7, 2009) Amy Kazmin’s article “Engineer makes big noise”:

“In India, one of the most used components of any motor vehicle is the horn. Drivers navigating livestock, pedestrians, animal-drawn carts and motor vehicles lean heavily on their horns to express frustration, if not to clear a path. Trucks are emblazoned with the slogan “horn please”.

Responsible for much of India’s distinctive road noise is Roots Industries, a small private company that is also the country’s biggest hornmaker…

…Throughout most of 2008, Roots ran three shifts a day, six days a week, turning out 400,000 horns a month for its home market and for export…”

Amy Kazmin should also have said- Horn is used in lieu of break.

These days my only hope while walking or driving on Pune roads is: Let vehicle driver be kind enough to honk.

Because I don’t expect him

to drive on the right side of the road,
follow traffic signals and speed-limits,
show courtesy to elders and children,
use unadulterated fuel,
have vehicle certified for pollution laws,
possess third-party insurance policy and driving licence,
keep safe distance between two vehicles,
carry no more than certified number of passengers,
showing hand or lamp directional signals while driving,
park vehicle responsibly,
use reverse horn sparingly

Artist: Frank Modell, The New Yorker, March 22 1958