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, September 07, 2009

Nimdu Kirana Gharana, namdu Kirana angadi

Bhimsen Joshi once famously told Gangubai Hangal: Nimdu Kirana Gharana, namdu Kirana angadi.

(Yours is Kirana Gharana, mine is kirana shop).

(Frontline, Aug. 01-14, 2009)

This is a very moving example of appreciation of Gangubai Hangal's music and Bhimsen Joshi's self-deprecating sense of humour.

But I have yet to read a better appreciation of music- even any art- than that done of Maujuddin Khan's Bhairavi by Govindrao Tembe.

Read it below. I am unable to translate it into English.



['माझा संगीत व्यासंग', गोविंदराव टेंबे, 1939 ('My Study of Music' by Govindrao Tembe)]

Oh how I wish I were there...I may not have understood the music but I sure would have cried!

Notice how little this writing is influenced by English. This is native brilliance expressed in the language of Laxmibai Tilak.

Another virtue of Tembe's entire writing is the absence of self promotion or 'I'.

In the passage above 'I' enters very reluctantly: "...Mistakenly my hand touched tanpura's string...".

Remember, Tembe himself was a giant in the field of music. N S Phadke has called him the architect of Marathi Natya Sangit. I have still not heard better popular music than his compositions for Sangeet Manapman (1911).

Little wonder M V Dhond gives this piece of Tembe a seat at the literary high table occupied by Jagannath Pandit, Bhavabhuti and above all Dnyaneshwar.

['ज्ञानेश्वरी: स्वरूप, तत्वज्ञान आणि काव्य', म. वा. धोंड, 1980 ('Dnyaneshwari: Swarup, Tatvadnyan Ani Kavya' by M V Dhond)]


Govindrao Tembe (1881-1955)

picture courtsey: Shree. Shankarrao Ghorpade, Kolhapur