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."

Monday, September 28, 2009

At Pokhran-II, did they swear or remember Bhagavad Gita?

John Gray:

"Towards the end of his life Oppenheimer turned against the Bhagavad Gita's philosophy of detachment, which had consoled him for so many years. 'If I cannot be comforted by Vishnu's argument to Arjuna,' he declared in a speech to the Congress of Cultural Freedom, 'it is because I am too much of a Jew, much too much a Christian, far too much an American. For I believe in the meaningfulness of human history, and of our role in it, and above all of our responsibility to it.' In effect, he was reaffirming the humanist creed he had imbibed at the Ethical Culture School. But it was the lack of substance of that creed that had led him to mysticism, and when he renounced detachment he must have known he had by then forfeited any chance of meaningful action." (November 2012)

Many Indians have a soft corner for J. Robert Oppenheimer because he knew Sanskrit! Maybe it's like having Indian-Americans in Obama team.

To paraphrase Homer Simpson: Suckers!

Oppenheimer supposedly thought: "Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds." (verse 32, Chapter 11 of the Bhagavad Gita) after he saw the first nuclear explosion "Trinity" on July 16, 1945.

It reads in Sanskrit as follows:


"Kalo Asmi Loka-ksaya-krit Pravardho, Lokan Samartum iha Pravattah"

Did he say it?

“...According to a colleague, however, what he actually said was, ‘Now we’re all sons-of-bitches.’…”

(Judith Flanders, Spectator, January 23, 2008)

K. Santhanam and Ashok Parthasarathi say in The Hindu on September 17 2009:

"Several inaccuracies in the claims made by BARC and in the articles published in the press, including The Hindu, on Pokhran-II need to be corrected. We have hard evidence on a purely factual basis, to inform the nation that not only was the yield of the second fusion (H-bomb) stage of the thermonuclear (TN) device tested in May 1998 was not only far below the design prediction made by the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), but that it actually failed..."

So what happened at Pokhran-II?

If the test "failed", no one could have said either "Now we’re all Sons-of-Bitches" or "Kalo Asmi Loka-ksaya-krit Pravardho, Lokan Samartum iha Pravattah"!

But if this failure was hidden from the nation, aren't ordinary Indians entitled to say: "sons-of-bitches"?