मेघदूत: "नीचैर्गच्छत्युपरि च दशा चक्रनेमिक्रमेण"

समर्थ शिष्या अक्का : "स्वामीच्या कृपाप्रसादे हे सर्व नश्वर आहे असे समजले. पण या नश्वरात तमाशा बहुत आहे."

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.”

Friedrich Nietzsche: “Everybody wants the same, everybody is the same: whoever feels different goes voluntarily into a madhouse.”

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);...”

सदानंद रेगे:
"... पण तुकारामाची गाथा ज्या धुंदीनं आजपर्यंत वाचली जात होती ती धुंदी माझ्याकडे नाहीय. ती मला येऊच शकत नाही याचं कारण स्वभावतःच मी नास्तिक आहे."
".. त्यामुळं आपण त्या दारिद्र्याच्या अनुभवापलीकडे जाऊच शकत नाही. तुम्ही जर अलीकडची सगळी पुस्तके पाहिलीत...तर त्यांच्यामध्ये त्याच्याखेरीज दुसरं काही नाहीच आहे. म्हणजे माणसांच्या नात्यानात्यांतील जी सूक्ष्मता आहे ती क्वचित चितारलेली तुम्हाला दिसेल. कारण हा जो अनुभव आहे... आपले जे अनुभव आहेत ते ढोबळ प्रकारचे आहेत....."

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."

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Waiting for Marathi's Joseph Conrad. Atleast another Vijay Tendulkar.

Until recently we had Vijay Tendulkar (विजय तेंडुलकर) who created 'Ghashiram Kotwal' (घाशीराम कोतवाल) in 1972 to show what havoc totalitarianism wreaks on civil society and how the government of the day creates and encourages such forces for self preservation.

(btw- Nana Phadanvis (नाना फडणवीस) 1742-1800 'the government of the day' in 'Ghashiram', adjusted for inflation, was probably as wealthy as the richest politician of Maharashtra today.)

Since 1993, terrorism has joined totalitarianism in Maharashtra.

Where do we stand today?

Loksatta, February 12 2010:

"...Today if a Marathi speaker goes to any other part of India, he would feel embarrassed. Other Indians get a picture of Maharashtra where only rowdyism, bullyism, gangsterism, terrorism and uncontrolled land-grabbing is going on. Earlier the images that were evoked when the word 'Bihar' was pronounced are now evoked by the word 'Maharashtra'..."

(लोकसत्ता: "...आज देशाच्या कोणत्याही भागात कुणीही मराठी माणूस गेला तरी त्याला अतिशय संकोच वाटावा, अशी स्थिती आहे. महाराष्ट्रात फक्त राडेबाजी, दादागिरी, खंडणीबाजी, दहशतबाजी आणि बेसुमार भूखंडबाजी चालू आहे असेच चित्र अन्य भारतीयांना दिसते. पूर्वी ‘बिहार’ हा शब्द उच्चारला तरी ज्या प्रतिमा डोळ्यासमोर येत, तशा आता ‘महाराष्ट्र’ हे नाव उच्चारले तरी येतात...")

Is this all reflected in Marathi literature?

Sure, there have been few attempts but nothing is even close to 'Ghashiram Kotwal' let alone Conrad's writings. (G A Kulkarni जी. ए. कुलकर्णी 1923-1987 was inspired by Conrad. But he didn't write any 'political' stuff.)

In English?

John Gray:

"...It is no accident that nothing approaching a great political novel appeared in the last decades of the 20th century...It is a telling fact about the closing decades of the 20th century that the closest approximation to a notable political novel was probably The Bonfire of the Vanities.

Conrad is our contemporary because, almost alone among 19th- and 20th-century novelists, he writes of the realities in which we live. At bottom, we know the dilemmas we face are not wholly soluble; but we prefer not to dwell on that. In order to avoid ethnic and religious enmities interacting with the rising scarcity of oil, water and other necessities, we need a worldwide programme of restraint and conservation; but such a programme is difficult to imagine at the best of times, and impossible while crucial regions of the world are at war. The realistic prospect is that the most we can do is stave off disaster - a task that demands stoicism and fortitude, not the utopian imagination. Which other novelist can school us so well in these forgotten virtues?

Conrad's greatness is that, by an art of enchantment, he brings us back to our actual life...

...It falls to a novelist without much faith in the power of reason to enlighten us how to live reasonably in these circumstances..."

'Waiting for Twin Bodies'

February 15 2010; Location: Outside of Morgue of Sassoon Hospital, Pune


Yogesh Jayant Khandke said...

I am not an expert on 18th century Maratha history, for that matter I am an expert on nothing.

My late dad though used to tell me what the British said about Nana, (wonder why they used Dakhani?)

Jab tak Nana, tab tak Puna.

Also you write about Nana as one who was as rich as today's politicians, I wonder whether even the devil deserves to be compared with today's politicians, let alone Nana. Have you heard them spending a paise for any public work? My town Khopoli has a tank, for details about the tank see the article on Khopoli at Wikipedia. This tank according to Gazette records was built by Nana from his private income, it is a huge tank, and serves Khopoli to this date.

Aniruddha G. Kulkarni said...

I have already said a couple of things on Nana.

He was as devilish as some of today's worst politicians who belong to all major parties of Maharashtra.

Glad to hear about the water tank.

Maybe Nana was doing atonement for his sins.