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."

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Hurry to proclaim Victory in the face of Failure?

Recently, in August 2009, I watched a program on Discovery Channel about the space shuttle Columbia disaster.

It was done candidly. There was no attempt to hide any fact or to protect any one.

No surprise that heads rolled at NASA after the inquiry into the disaster.

Recently former Defence Research & Development Organisation scientist K Santhanam claimed that the 1998 Pokhran-II test was a ‘fizzle.’

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said: “A wrong impression has been given by some scientists which is needless. Mr. Kalam has clarified that the tests were successful.”

Homi Nusserwanji Sethna: “What did he (Kalam) know about extracting, making explosive grade? He didn’t know a thing. By being a president, he appeared to wear the stature. He relied on atomic energy to gain additional stature.”

On India's moon mission, The Hindu reported on August 29 2009:

'Ten months after it was launched, India’s maiden moon mission, the ambitious Chandrayaan-1, came to an abrupt end today after ISRO lost communication with the spacecraft, cutting short the dream odyssey that was expected to last two years.

"The mission is definitely over. We have lost contact with the spacecraft," Project Director of the Chandrayaan-1 mission, M. Annadurai, told PTI.

However, he said: “It (Chandrayaan-1) has done its job technically...100 per cent. Scientifically also, it has done almost 90-95 percent of its job"'.

Why this hurry to proclaim victory in the face of possible failure?


Artist: Tony Auth