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, October 02, 2009

Thank you Miraj for giving us Ordinary, Boring, Eventless Days

140th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi

य दि फडके:

"...जाती-जमातींमध्ये सुसंवाद निर्माण करण्यात त्यांना अखेर अपयश आले. जे साध्य गाठण्यात त्यांच्यासारख्या महात्म्याला अपयश आले तेथे त्यांच्यापेक्षा खुज्या माणसांना यश येणे शक्य नाही...भारतीय राष्ट्रवादाला तेव्हा सूडभावनेने पछाडलेले होते तसेच आजही पछाडलेले आहे... "

(नथुरामायण, १९९९ )

Y D Phadke:

"...He in the end failed to establish harmonious dialogue among different communities. Where a Mahatma like him fails to achieve the objective, anyone shorter in stature can never succeed...Then Indian nationalism was infected by vindictiveness the way it is infected today..."

(Nathuramayan, 1999)


"TWO provinces of British India sealed the fate of India’s unity. One was the United Provinces, now Uttar Pradesh. The other was Assam. Both were ruled by the Congress. In both, the party rejected partnership with the Muslim League...

...The Congress rejected the very idea of grouping – the only concession to the League which had accepted the Plan – and wrecked it. Partition followed inevitably. That was the stand of the entire Congress. It was Gandhi who gave the lead. Others, Vallabhbhai Patel included, followed. Nehru alone cannot be blamed..."

(Frontline, September 12-25. 2009)

I lived in Miraj मिरज for first twenty one years of my life. Miraj was good to us.

Sure I got bored of it towards the end of my stay there because at the age of 21, I did not appreciate what Arun Shourie has once said: "...So many things in my life-good things, as well as things that could have devastated many-have happened because of accidents. So I do not make long-term plans. In that respect, I have learnt something from the Buddha's teachings, from life, and from Anita, my wife. She has taught me that given the sort of things that can happen, we have to be content with, indeed thankful for, an ordinary, boring, eventless day."

Miraj had considerable Muslim population and although there were a couple of riots of other kinds, I never witnessed a single religious riot there.

We had Muslim teachers, Muslim friends, Muslim fruit and newspaper vendors, Muslim bus conductors, mother's Muslim glass-bangle vendor (कासार)...Urus in front of the dargah of Samsuddin Mira Saheb used to be bigger fun than Navratri and Ganesh Chaturthi. (By the way on Oct 1 2009, Wikipage on Miraj does not mention the dargah in the list of 'Religious places' at Miraj!)

Sure some Muslim Mirajkars supported Pakistan team during India-Pakistan cricket matches and were proud of Zaheer Abbas. Today many Hindu middle-class and wealthy Indian-British support Indian team during India-England cricket matches and are proud of Sachin Tendulkar.

But I never thanked Miraj for giving us many 'ordinary, boring, eventless' days.

In September 2009, Miraj was hit with religious violence that disrupted normal life of ordinary people for more than a week. The violence also spread to neighbouring Kolhapur especially Ichalkaranji.

The Times of India reported on September 14 2009:

"...Meanwhile, the Sangli police have launched a probe into the events that led to the violence which first broke out at Miraj on September 2...

...At the centre of this probe is the video CDs of the violence at Miraj. The CDs found there way on the internet as well as mobile photo clippings..."

Pudhari पुढारी reported on September 27 2009:

"...दरम्यान, दंगलीस कारणीभूत असलेला शिवसेनेचा शहरप्रमुख विकास सूर्यवंशी अद्याप बेपत्ता असून, पोलीस त्याचा कसून शोध घेत आहेत."

"...Meanwhile, the man responsible for rioting, Vikas Suryavanshi, the city-chief of Shiv Sena is missing and police are searching for him."

The Asian Age, September 7 2009