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."

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dilip Chitre, We'll always have Tukaram

Ashok Shahane: "Dilip Purushottam Chitre had to incarnate to tell even the poets here that Tukaram was a poet to the bone." [Napeksha, 2005]

(अशोक शहाणे: "तुकाराम हाडाचा कवी होता हे इथल्या कवींनाच सांगण्यासाठीसुद्धा दिलीप पुरुषोत्तम चित्रे अवतरावे लागले." (नपेक्षा))

It's hard to believe this but it is true. It's similar to explaining 20th century playwrights that Shakespeare was a playwright to the bone!

Chitre chooses this poem of Tukaram for the last section "Farewell to Being" (असण्याचा निरोप) in his book "Punha Tukaram" (पुन्हा तुकाराम).

सकळ ही माझी बोळवण करा ।
परतोनि घरा जावें तुह्मीं ॥1॥

कर्मधर्में तुह्मां असावें कल्याण ।
घ्या माझें वचन आशीर्वाद ॥ध्रु।॥

वाढवूनि दिलों एकाचिये हातीं ।
सकळ निश्चिंती जाली तेथें ॥2॥

आतां मज जाणें प्राणेश्वरासवें ।
माझिया भावें अनुसरलों ॥3॥

वाढवितां लोभ होइऩल उसीर ।
अवघींच स्थिर करा ठायीं ॥4॥

धर्म अर्थ काम जाला एके ठायीं ।
मेळविला जिंहीं हाता हात ॥5॥

तुका ह्मणे आतां जाली हे चि भेटी ।
उरल्या त्या गोष्टी बोलावया ॥6॥

I wonder if anyone else in the world has ever said such moving farewell words. Nice try Humphrey Bogart though.

(They remind me of my last meeting with my mother. I could never say it but 'Aai, We'll always have Miraj'.)

Following picture of great Saul Steinberg has appeared on this blog before. There I imagined that it depicted how Namdev (नामदेव) created the myth of Lord Vitthal.

Here I see: D P Chitre painting the image of his great forebear Tukaram, complete with a horn in his mouth, for anyone who could read either Marathi, English or German, and Tukaram in turn places a wreath on Chitre's head for a job well done!

Artist: Saul Steinberg, The New Yorker, Jan 6 1962