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."

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Why Vinda, Kusumagraj, Khandekar but NO Bhagwat, Tendulkar, Chitre?

Vinda's popularity after the Jnanpith (ज्ञानपीठ) Award soared and probably reached the levels previously attained by Kusumagraj (कुसुमाग्रज) and V S Khandekar (वि स खांडेकर).

All three of them Jnanpith awardees.

Like Vinda, Kusumagraj too was a good poet and a great human being. (Kusumagraj was our family friend and attended my sister's wedding. He had great regard for my father and his writings. He exuded only kindness and love.)

The same can be said of the third awardee, V S Khandekar. Average writer but a great humanist who motivated scores of budding artists. (At IIT, Madras, I once asked my Tamil speaking class-mate: who were popular Tamil writers? His answer stunned me because one name on that very short list was Khandekar. Yes, V S Khandekar in translation! Yes, he was that popular.)

The award was not given to Durga Bhagwat, Vijay Tendulkar and Dilip Chitre, for my taste, all of them better writers than the Jnanpith trinity.

Is it because M/s Bhagwat, Chitre and Tendulkar constantly rebelled against the establishment? The government of the day as well as extra constitutional authorities and power-centres in Maharashtra.

Remember fearlessness of Durga Bhagwat during the emergency, Vijay Tendulkar's run-ins with Shiv Sena and the government on many issues, death threat to Chitre in the wake of James Laine controversy?

Vinda, Kusumagraj, Khandekar avoided such conflicts. I like to think: Not for want of courage but they were built differently.