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.”

W H Auden: "But in my arms till break of day / Let the living creature lie. / Mortal, guilty, but to me/ The entirely beautiful."

Will Self: “To attempt to write seriously is always, I feel, to fail – the disjunction between my beautifully sonorous, accurate and painfully affecting mental content, and the leaden, halting sentences on the page always seems a dreadful falling short. It is this failure – a ceaseless threnody keening through the writing mind – that dominates my working life, just as an overweening sense of not having loved with enough depth or recklessness or tenderness dominates my personal one.”

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."

Art Spiegelman: "You know words in a way are hitting you on the left side of your brain, music and visual arts hit on the right side of the brain, so the idea is to pummel you, to send you from left brain to right brain and back until you're as unbalanced as I am."

विलास सारंग: "संदर्भ कुठलेही असोत, संस्कृत, इंग्रजी, बुद्धिवादी, तांत्रिक, इतिहासाचे, खगोलशास्त्राचे, आधुनिक पदार्थविज्ञानाचे, शिवकालीन व पेशवाईतील बखरीचे, अगणित ज्ञानक्षेत्रांचे, अशा वैविध्यपूर्ण ज्ञानावर लेखन- विशेषत: कवितालेखन- उभं राहत."

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Gene Hackman, Hollywood's Balraj Sahni, turns 80 today

In last several weeks, I finished reading three memorable books:

1. "Stalingrad" by Antony Beevor
2. "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy
3. "Palkhi" (पालखी) by D B Mokashi (दि. बा. मोकाशी)

If I have to choose the most interesting character from each of them, they would be Friedrich Paulus, the Father and Mokashi respectively.

And if I were to make feature films based on these books, to play all those- seemingly disparate- roles, I would choose Gene Hackman or Balraj Sahni.

These two gentleman make me watch their film- on second viewing because I am simply awestruck first time- the way I would read good poetry: I want to dissect every word, I want to pause, I want to go back, I want to focus on what they do with their whole body....

In their hands, cinema as an art scales the heights reached by written word and music.

Cinema is primarily a director's medium but there are always exceptions.

Hackman has dabbled in writing. According to Wikipedia "Sahni was a gifted writer, his early writings were in English, though later in life he switched to Punjabi, and became a writer of repute in Punjabi literature."

I did not need Wiki info because Sahni's worth was proven when he wrote dialogues, screenplay and story of my favourite Hindi film Baazi(1951).

Hackman is a child of a broken home while Sahni had to suffer early death of his beloved daughter after her marriage.

Mr. Sahni never turned even 60.

p.s.

Soumitra Chatterjee, when asked "You have been a model to more than two generations of aspiring actors. Who has been your model?":

"One person who really inspired me was Balraj Sahani. I think he is the best cinema actor that India has ever seen. He could carry on a big role, a hero's role with the nuances of a character actor."

(Frontline, May 4 2012)