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."

Will Self: “To attempt to write seriously is always, I feel, to fail – the disjunction between my beautifully sonorous, accurate and painfully affecting mental content, and the leaden, halting sentences on the page always seems a dreadful falling short. It is this failure – a ceaseless threnody keening through the writing mind – that dominates my working life, just as an overweening sense of not having loved with enough depth or recklessness or tenderness dominates my personal one.”

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, June 16, 2009

Is Mukul Shivaputra modern day Diogenes?

गोविंदराव टेंबे (1881-1955): "एकनिष्ठेने दीर्घ काल संगीताराधना करणाऱ्या व्यक्तीच मुळी प्रतिष्ठित पोषाखी समाजात दुर्मिळ असतात." (माझा संगीत व्यासंग, १९३९)

Govindrao Tembe: "In a well-dressed established society, rarely there exists people who loyally worship music over a long period of time." (My Study of Music, 1939)

Tembe hated radio. And then, we had television!!!

There has been hue and cry in media about Mukul Shivaputra, a gifted Hindustani classical singer and the son of Kumar Gandharva, when he was found begging. He has been known to live a reclusive life.

Urban middle-class India's attitude towards poverty and begging is- like most things in their life- identical to that of Anglo-Saxon attitude.

I wonder how we may treat Ashwatthama, Buddha, Gorakh Nath, Kabir, Tukaram... if any of them were to ring our apartment's bell today.

Or Diogenes.

"...Diogenes (412-323 BC), the story goes, was called a “downright dog,” and this so pleased him that the figure of a dog was carved in stone to mark his final resting place. From that epithet, kunikos (“dog-like”), cynicism was born.

Diogenes credited his teacher Antisthenes with introducing him to a life of poverty and happiness — of poverty as happiness. The cynic’s every word and action was dedicated to the belief that the path to individual freedom required absolute honesty and complete material austerity.

So Diogenes threw away his cup when he saw people drinking from their hands. He lived in a barrel, rolling in it over hot sand in the summer. He inured himself to cold by embracing statues blanketed with snow. He ate raw squid to avoid the trouble of cooking..."

(SIMON CRITCHLEY, NYT, April 1 2009)

Is Mukul Shivaputra modern day Diogenes?