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!"

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."

Chris Ware: "Being a cartoonist means you don’t consider yourself too fancy."

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

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

What did Crystal Ball Fortune Teller say in 1990?

Recently from Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund company I received a promotional mailer. Its envelope carried this slogan: "Remember what life was like, in India, before 1991?”

So did Sunanda K Datta-Ray.

I just trashed the envelope but Mr. Datta-Ray was stimulated by it to write an essay that can be found here.

"...The world was less glamorous with fewer big scams. Cricket was sport, not speculation. Hinduism was religion, not politics. Recorded telephone operators’ voices didn’t sound as if they belonged to Hindi-speaking young women trying desperately hard to pretend they were Americans trying desperately hard to speak Hindi...

...People wrote letters instead of tweeting. They chatted with each other, not into machines. Indian women wore saris, not The Red Sari. Actresses hadn’t crossed the gender barrier. Bollywood didn’t pretend to be Hollywood. Bollywood stars didn’t rush to Cannes since there were no awards to collect. There are still no awards but they go to spend all that cash and flaunt their wardrobes. “Topless” wasn’t a fashion option. Newspapers served news...

...I wrote in the seventies and eighties that nuclear bombs, missions to the Moon and vehicles in space were for India, not Indians. Now, the expected 8.5 per cent growth is as much for India as for Indians … or for some Indians until Manmohan Singh redeems his promise of a “new deal for rural India” and extends it also to include the neglected urban poor..."


Artist: Steve Breen