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."

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Te acompaño en tu pesar

Mahatma Gandhi translated a few of Tukaram's poems when he was jailed in Yerwada in 1930.

One of them reads in Marathi:

"जेथे जातो तेथे तू माझा सांगाती । चालविसी हाती धरूनिया ॥१॥

चालो वाटे आम्ही तुझा चि आधार । चालविसी भार सवे माझा ॥धॄ॥"

Gandhi's translation reads:

"Wherever I go, Thou art my companion. Having taken me by the hand Thou movest me.
I go alone depending solely on Thee. Thou bearest too my burdens."

Tukaram.com also has its translation in Rajasthani:

"हूं जठै-जठै जाऊं हूं बैठे-बैठे तूं म्हारे सागै चाले है और म्हारो हात झालनै मनै चलावै है ।

मारग में चालूं जणै मनै थोरा ई सायरो रैवै है, म्हारो सगळो भार तूं ई संभाळो है"

("म्हारो सगळो भार तूं ई संभाळो है". Sweeter than even Tukaram's original words! "चालविसी भार सवे माझा".)

The key phrase in the poem is 'to accompany'. "Taking by hand" is less important.

One of the greatest books, "Don Quixote", was written in Spanish c 1605-1615. Tukaram was already borne and perhaps writing.

Terry Castle informs that there is a phrase "...used in Spain to console someone: "Te acompaño en tu pesar"—"I accompany you in your sorrow.""

Castle continues:"...At the deepest level Don Quixote is about accompanying someone and being accompanied in turn..."

For me the most moving sequence of Richard Attenborough's Gandhi is the Dandi March. The way the March gathered strength. People kept joining in. In total silence.

They were accompanying and being accompanied in turn!

Last year, for the first time, I read D B Mokashi's (दि. बा. मोकाशी)- 20th century Marathi's foremost existentialist- Palkhi 1964 (पालखी). What a read! It describes how such an exercise transforms even a skeptic. Outsider in the end belongs.

Yesterday I finished reading Cormac Mccarthy's masterly and numbing 'The Road'. In apocalyptic times, father and son come closer. Thanks to a journey together.

Artist: Vijay Wadekar

To view more such pictures click here.