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."

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Dilip Chitre's Ardh Satya

Ardh Satya (1983) is a very good movie based on Shree Da Panwalkar's (श्री दा पानवलकर) story from the collection "Surya" (सूर्य).

(When I read the story, I thought the movie was better although the equation is not as uneven as that of the two versions of 'The Godfather', one by Mario Puzo and the other by Francis Ford Coppola.

Panwalkar wrote a book- 'Shooting' (शूटिंग) based on his experience with the making of the movie. I didn't much like this book. I expected the book to be more intense but I guess it reflects the essential chaos of making a Hindi film rather than what the final product conveys to us inside a theatre.

On the other hand, I have read elsewhere how Om Puri broke down and sobbed uncontrollably shooting a scene with Smita Patil. Ms. Patil pressed his hand to console him etc...)

Chitre has left an indelible stamp on the movie with his poem 'Ardh Satya'. It sets up the movie nicely.

एक पलड़े में नपुंसकता,
एक पलड़े में पौरुष,
और ठीक तराजू के कांटे पर,
अर्ध सत्य

Quality of these words reminds me of Shailendra and Sahir.