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."

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Shivajirao Bhosale, Chandgi Ram, Abhijit Marathe...

Adam Philips: 'The world without the people who matter to us is not the same world and so not the world at all. Life becomes progressively stranger as we get older - and we become increasingly frantic to keep it familiar, to keep it in order - because people keep changing the world for us by dying out (mourning is better described as orientation, the painful wondering whether it is worth re-placing oneself).'

In 1970's, I atteneded many public lectures of Shivajirao Bhosale (शिवाजीराव भोसले) at Miraj (मिरज). His voice still rings in my ears.

Although they were informative, I was never hugely impressed by them unlike lectures by Narhar Kurundkar (नरहर कुरुंदकर). In fact, I walked out of one or two of them because of sheer boredom.

However, it's a nice feeling that, not too long ago, thousands in Maharashtra flocked to his lectures on the subjects like Sri Aurobindo, Swami Vivekananda among others.

I wonder how many would do so today sacrificing their prime time decadent Marathi TV.

Wrestler Chandgi Ram who passed away on 29 June 2010- like Satpal Singh- became very popular personality in Maharashtra. It was nice to read rich tributes paid to him by his former rival wrestelers of Kolhapur (कोल्हापूर).

Abhijit Marathe (अभिजीत मराठे) my classmate died in Miraj on June 27(?) 2010. I was not in touch with him for a long time but we spent years from June 1969 to March 1975 together at Miraj High School.

His family- easily one of the wealthiest in the region- was 'first family' of Miraj, even ahead of that of family of Miraj's former ruler.

But he wore all this lightly. He was probably the only guy who was addressed using his first name without any corruption. That is always 'Abhijit'. Never 'Abhya' or 'Marathya'. (Unlike me who, to my father's irritation, was always 'Kulkya'.)

He was good in studies and, like many of us, obsessed with cricket. When he joined us playing a Sunday game, putting together a cricket gear was never a problem.

His bunglow had a tennis court and a ping pong table. Marathe's also had a decent book library. I sure read a few books there.

Abhijit could be wickedly funny. I remember he would go to a parrot fortune-teller near our school and enquire if he could tell fortune of Abhijit's penis! (I was with him on one such trip.)

In 1974, when I went back to school after a gap of number of days, our class teacher made me stand up and was enquiring where I was. I was fumbling with an answer because I was lying. Abhijit blurted out: He had plague!

The whole class including me was in splits.

Go well, Abhijit.