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."

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."

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, October 26, 2009

A New Adjective in Marathi: Ambedkar

James Fallows writes on The Atlantic:

"..."to Obama" -- has gained currency among some Japanese youths.


"obamu: (v.) To ignore inexpedient and inconvenient facts or realities, think "Yes we can, Yes we can," and proceed with optimism using those facts as an inspiration (literally, as fuel). It is used to elicit success in a personal endeavor. One explanation holds that it is the opposite of kobamu. (拒む, which means to refuse, reject, or oppose)...

...The absorptive-and-transforming power of the Japanese language is indeed one of its charms..."

When I read it, I thought:

why couldn't we be creative with the name- Ambedkar?

If Japanese care to lean about the achievements of B R Ambedkar- and they are no less than their favourite Gautam Buddha- what meaning will they assign to it?

Here is an attempt in Marathi.

The legend of Bhageeratha says because of his tireless efforts, the river Ganga descended to earth from heaven. It was considered an impossible task. To honour this, in Marathi, such efforts are called: Bhageeratha efforts भगीरथ प्रयत्न.

I have never forgot following lines of poet Namdev Dhasal since I read them in class X, thirty four year ago.

सूर्यफुले हाती ठेवणारा फकीर हजारो वर्षानंतर लाभला
आत्ता सूर्यफुलासाराखे सूर्योंमुख झालेच पाहिजे
('आत्ता', नामदेव लक्ष्मण ढसाळ, गोलपिठा, १९७१ )

[After thousands of years, we met a fakir who handed to us sunflowers
now we must become sun-facing like sunflowers

('Aatta', Namdev Lakshman Dhasal, Golpitha, 1971)]

Ambedkar's task was harder than that of Bhageeratha because in 1891- the year he was borne- growing, plucking and handing over the sunflowers, in the total darkness that engulfed the Dalits of India, was possible only in the dreams.

And yet, he did it. Therefore, let us call such efforts: Ambedkar efforts आंबेडकर प्रयत्न.