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."

Saturday, September 19, 2009

भो पंचम जॉर्ज, भूप, धन्य धन्य!

In last post, we visited the first decade of 20th century. Will continue there a bit longer...

Then my mother's mother, Manu Karandikar, sang following song at her school, praising and well-wishing her emperor- George V of the United Kingdom- almost every day.

I remember having heard a few lines of it from her mouth. (She spoke such witty, stylish Marathi)

भो पंचम जॉर्ज, भूप, धन्य धन्य ! विबुधमान्य सार्वभौम भूवरा ! ॥
नयधुरंधरा, बहुत काळ तूंचि पाळ ही वसुंधरा ॥
शोभविशी रविकुलशी कुलपरंपरा ॥ध्रु।॥ नयधु।॥

संतत तव कांत शांत राजतेज जगिं विलसो ॥
धर्मनीति शिल्पशास्त्र ललितकला सफल असो ॥
सगुणसागरा, विनयसुंदरा ॥१॥ नयधु।॥

नीतिनिपुण मंत्री तुझे तोषवोत जनहृदंतरा ॥
सदा जनहृदंतरा ॥
राजशासनीं प्रजाहि विनत असो शांततापरा ॥
असो शांततापरा ॥२॥नयधु.॥

समरधीर वीर करुत कीर्तिविस्तरा ॥
पुत्र पौत्र सुखवुत तव राजमंदिरा ॥
सौख्यपूर्ण दीर्घ आयु भोग नृपवरा ॥३॥नयधु.॥

भो पंचम जॉर्ज, भूप, धन्य धन्य ! विबुधमान्य सार्वभौम भूवरा ! ॥ नयधु.॥

Manu-tai was in illustrious company.

Kushwant Singh writes: "...Tagore composed and sang Jana gana mana (which later became India's national anthem) in honour of King George V..."

Wikipedia informs: "George was the only Emperor of India to be present at his own Delhi Durbar, where he appeared before his Indian subjects crowned with the Imperial Crown of India, created specially for the occasion...King George V and his Queen sat on golden thrones under a golden umbrella on 11 December 1911 when they proclaimed that the capital of British India would be shifted from Calcutta to Delhi..."

The Durbar was an extravaganza of pomp but fortunately it was the last one.

I wonder what my grandma would have made of following information about her emperor.

Margaret MacMillan while reviewing 'Three Emperors: Three Cousins, Three Empires and the Road to the First World War', by Miranda Carter:

"...George was sent away from home at an early age to join the navy where he spent a miserable, sea-sick time. He was frightened of his father and resented his ill-concealed affairs. He adored ‘motherdear’, who alternated between stifling affection and cheerful neglect. When his beloved older brother, Eddy, died suddenly of pneumonia he found himself to his dismay the heir to the throne. (He also found that he had a fiancée when his parents decided that there was no point in wasting the work that had gone into arranging Eddy’s engagement.) ‘Oh such a piteous, good, feeble, heroic little figure,’ was Max Beerbohm’s assessment of one of George’s first appearances as king in 1910...

...As for George V, as constitutional monarch and an inexperienced one at that, he had virtually no power at all, less even than his grandmother Queen Victoria or his father Edward VII...

...Carter shows how hereditary monarchies made their contribution to the disaster. It’s enough to make one a republican..." (Spectator, September 2, 2009)

Artist: William O'Brian, The New Yorker, 12 October 1963

No, it was a loot, mam!