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."

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Damn Hampi, You are in Karnataka!

A.G. NOORANI:"...Television has simply run amok. It is unaccountable because there is no audit of the media in the media itself..."

Last few days Marathi TV channels were busy bashing Karnataka over Belgaum. It's their way of celebrating 50th anniversary of birth of modern state of Maharashtra.

Today May 4th is 674th anniversary of the foundation of Vijayanagara, one of the greatest empires of India and the world.

One of the most memorable days of my life is the one I spent at Hampi-Vijayanagara in December 1992.

It seems I never left the place.

When I saw the picture of elephant stables, included below, from Frontline April 9 2010 essay 'History in stone', I once again, just like the day when I was there, was transported 500 years back.

I thought the visit was like reading Percy Bysshe Shelley's 'Ozymandias' where one

"...meets some fragments huge, and stops to guess
What powerful but unrecorded race
Once dwelt in that annihilated place." (Fortunately for us not exactly 'unrecorded race'.)

Year 2010 is 500th anniversary year of the coronation of Krishnadevaraya, one of the greatest rulers India produced.

I don't claim that I read a lot of Marathi publications or follow Marathi news television. But I dare say that this great event is barely being celebrated in Maharashtra.

It was not always like this.

Year 1936 was celebrated in Maharashtra as 600th anniversary year of foundation of Vijayanagara empire.

T S Shejwalkar
(त्र्यं शं शेजवलकर) wrote two memorable essays on the occasion: 'Debt of Vijayanagara' (विजयनगरचे ऋण) and 'Impact of Viajayanagara Empire on the empire of Marathas' (विजयनगर साम्राज्याचे मराठेशाहीवरील परिणाम).

Shejwalkar wrote:

"...The idea of Maharashtra state came to Shivaji under the shadow of Vijayanagara empire; it was developed further while he conquered parts of that erstwhile empire; it germinated because of its support; prospered; survived many crises, kept going and in the end when that support vanished, it fell apart."

("महाराष्ट्र-राज्याची कल्पना विजयनगरच्या छायेंत शिवाजीच्या मनांत स्फुरली; त्याचं राज्याचा मुलूख जिंकतां जिंकतां वृद्धिंगत पावली; त्याच राज्याच्या आश्रयामुळे मराठेशाही रूजली, वाढली, गंडांतरांतून टिकली, चालू राहिली आणि अखेरीस तो आश्रय सुटला तेंव्हा कोसळून कोलमडून पडली")

Are we ungrateful bastards?

If you pay attention, you will hear elephants trumpet