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."

Friday, June 26, 2009

Stench and Scent of a Woman

Neil Young:

"A Man Needs A Maid"
I was thinking that
maybe I'd get a maid
Find a place nearby
for her to stay.
Just someone
to keep my house clean,
Fix my meals and go away.

Only for "to keep my house clean, Fix my meals and go away."? Not necessarily.

Recently a high profile Hindi film actor has been accused of a brutal rape of his maid.

I am reminded of a scene from Marathi film "Simhasan सिंहासन" (1980):
An elderly man douses his maid (played by Sushma Tendulkar सुषमा तेंडुलकर ) with perfume before sleeping with her. At the end of the act, he calls her a prostitute and 'pays' her with a used saree of his wife.

Dousing with perfume!

On the other hand, Napoleon sent word from the thick of battle to Josephine that she should abstain from washing now that his return was nigh.

R K Narayan:

"I smelt my wife's letter before opening it. It carried with it the fragrance of her trunk, in which she always kept her stationery- a mild jasmine smell surrounded her and all her possessions ever since I had known her."

("The English Teacher", 1946)

In "The Simpsons" episode (Production code: CABF05 Original Airdate on FOX: 14-Jan-2001), a prisoner asks Marge Simpson: "Can I smell your dress?"

बा. सी. मर्ढेकर (B S Mardhekar):

दवांत आलिस भल्या पहाटीं
अभ्रांच्या शोभेंत एकदां;
जवळुनि गेलिस पेरित अपुल्या
मंद पावलांमधल्या गंधा.

(# 25, "मर्ढेकरांची कविता", "Mardhekar's Poetry", 1959)

Forgive my translation:

"You came in early morning dew
decked up like clouds once;
went past me planting
fragrance of your tender steps."