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!"

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."

Chris Ware: "Being a cartoonist means you don’t consider yourself too fancy."

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: "संदर्भ कुठलेही असोत, संस्कृत, इंग्रजी, बुद्धिवादी, तांत्रिक, इतिहासाचे, खगोलशास्त्राचे, आधुनिक पदार्थविज्ञानाचे, शिवकालीन 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.

Explanation:

"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.