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."

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Vinda- My Charvak (or my Eknath?) is Dead

Vinda Karandikar (विंदा करंदीकर) has been here a few times before.

He reminded Dilip Chitre (दिलीप चित्रे) of Sant Eknath (संत एकनाथ).

To me, he was like his own depiction of Cārvāka/ Charvak (चार्वाक), in possibly his best book: -‘ASHTADARSHANE’(अष्टदर्शने), 2003.

Charvak is the last 'darshan' in the book. Arthur Schopenhauer too gets his due but it is no surprise that 'Marxist' in Vinda doesn't like him much.

(I feel privileged that I have this book autographed by him. I also have his letter.)

In Vinda's words, Charvaka was like :

सत्याचा स्वीकार। श्रद्धांचा अव्हेर,
हिंसेचा धिक्कार, । करोनिया,
मानवी जीवन। करणे सुखमय
हेच एक ध्येय। मानणारे
मानवतावादी, । उद्योगप्रवण,
असे हे दर्शन । चार्वाकाचे.

In my words, Vinda was:

सत्याचा स्वीकार। श्रद्धांचा अव्हेर,
हिंसेचा धिक्कार, । करोनिया,
मानवी जीवन। करणे सुखमय
हेच एक ध्येय। मानणारे
मानवतावादी, । उद्योगप्रवण,
असे हे दर्शन । विंदांचे.

But in the final analysis, Chitre was right. At the end of all intellectual discussions and philosophies, what we will remember most about Vinda is his humanism. Like Eknath, like Mahatma Gandhi.

"जगाचिये नेत्री दिसे तो संसारी, परी तो अंतरी स्फटिक शुद्ध" ("In the world's eyes he looks ordinary married man but inside he is crystal pure.")

p.s. Vinda has written thirty odd books. When I last checked, other than his poetry books, most of his books- I was particularly looking for his translation of Dnyaneshwar's (ज्ञानेश्वर) Amrutanubhav (अमृतानुभव), 1981- are not available in the market. Such is the poverty of Marathi publishing world.

Cricket is like Carbon monoxide

On March 13 2010, I saw one of the best Hockey matches ever: Australia Vs. Germany, final of FIH world cup in New Delhi.

Since I have not seen too many Hockey matches, I feel it was as good as some of the best football matches.

Contrary to my hope, India didn't make even the semi-finals.

In fact, through the fortnight, I often thought India and Pakistan were playing a different ball-game than Australia, Germany and Holland.

Even then India and Pakistan gave me many exciting moments and displayed tremendous skills at times.

On March 13, I checked most TV news channels, during the half-time, if the match was getting due attention by our electronic media.

Not one of them bothered! All of them were busy with IPL.

What is the greatest achievement of an Indian sports-person in year 2010?

By some distance this: In March, Saina Nehwal became the first Indian woman to reach the semi-finals of the All England Super Series badminton championship.

Our cable operator is not even carrying the sports channel that is covering the championship!

Cricket is like Carbon monoxide. In its limited-over avatars, it binds with Indian mass psyche so much that the psyche is not available for any other sports.