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."

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."

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, March 06, 2010

Gross Injustice to G A Kulkarni's Memory?

(There are a few more entries on this blog on G A Kulkarni and his art. Click here to access them.)

Recently I was reading "Priya Jee E Sa. Na. Vi. Vi.", 1994 (प्रिय जी. ए. स. न. वि. वि.) edited by G A Kulkarni's (जी. ए. कुलकर्णी) cousin-sister Nanda Paithankar (नंदा पैठणकर) one more time.

G A Kulkarni received Sahitya Akademi Award in 1973 for his collection of short stories 'Kajalmaya' (काजळमाया).

Although today it looks no more than a storm in teacup, the award created a huge controversy that stirred middle class Marathi world.

No one doubted the merit of the book but the controversy was about whether the book qualified for the award in the first place.

The criterion laid down by the Akademi was that the book had to be published between Jan 1 1970- Dec 31 1972.

'Kajalmaya' wasn't published before March 1973!

This was raked up by 'Maharashtra Times' (महाराष्ट्र टाईम्स) whose staff member wanted to hit Ramdas Bhatkal (रामदास भटकळ), GA's publiher. (So much bitching went on in that small, claustrophobic world)!

Instead G A was devastated by the controversy and promptly returned the award. He wrote many letters in great anguish and received as many.

Ms. Paithankar's book carries a lot of that correspondence and even carries a picture of the receipt of the award amount- the then princely amount of Rs. 5,000- by the Akademi.

The book has an undated- from 1975- English letter by G A Kulkarni to the Akademi where he says: "...I have no desire to accept the award as it is, whatever the rules of the Akademi, which do not recognize a new problem like my book's. Unless the Akademi condones the irregularity, or accepts the book definitely in 1972,The award may please be treated as permanently returned..."

Since the Akademi's website still carries G A's name as the recipient of 1973 award, it should refer to this controversy and announce there what G A desired so desperately: "condones the irregularity, or accepts the book definitely in 1972."

It should also clarify the small matter of Rs. 5,000 because G A's best friend Jaywant Dalwi (जयवंत दळवी), in a lighter vein, wondered if G A's 'return' cheque was ever encashed by the Akademi!