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, October 17, 2009

Little Man You only Hope to Know!

Like last few years, I was looking forward to Madhukar Dharmapurikar's मधुकर धर्मापुरीकर Diwali greeting.

I wasn't disappointed.

For me calendar 2009's theme has been John N Gray's "Straw Dogs: Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals" (2002).

One of the quotes I liked from the book is by Joseph Brodsky: "...should the truth about the world exist, it's bound to be nonhuman."

Therefore, I was delighted to see that the greeting was consistent with the theme.

See the picture below. (To view 2008 card, click here)

The picture made me nostalgic. At a public garden in Miraj, a few decades ago, on a mild sunny morning, three of us and our parents had a photo session. There was no one else other than us and the photographer.

Were there birds? I don't remember but surely no albatrosses or seagulls!

Although the family in the picture seems to be enjoying their presence, what are birds there doing?

Do they want to fit in the frame? Are they swooping down on the junk strewn at the beach? Are they enjoying irritation of family dog? Is this a scene from Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" (1963)?

R K Laxman once described how dozens of crows sat without a sound on overhead cables during the entire reception of Prince Charles in Mumbai.

Does a poet have an answer?

Walter de la Mare?:

"Over these unremembered marble columns,

birds glide their old remembered way.

Dive in red gold setting tide and write dark alphabets on evening sky

whether an epitaph, chorus or strange augury

little man you only hope to know!"

Here is hoping for happy Diwali 2009!

Artist: Norman Thelwell (1923 - 2004)