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."

Monday, July 05, 2010

Was this Handsome Man Evil? Muhammad Ayub Khan

James Lovegrove:“The search for aliens, then, has turned inward. The Other is no longer up there in the stars. He’s our neighbour with the faith-based dress code. She’s the person with the tinted skin and unfamiliar accent. Modern science fiction is putting out the unexceptionable message that we should gladly embrace him or her, if we are to have any kind of future.
Someone else’s Other, after all, is us.”

Many of us in India have been raised to treat Muhammad Ayub Khan, the first military ruler of Pakistan as evil.

Was he?

Please read "Lessons of Murree" by A.G. NOORANI (Frontline, July 2 2010).

Paul Krugman wrote on July 1 2010: "When I was young and naïve, I believed that important people took positions based on careful consideration of the options. Now I know better. Much of what Serious People believe rests on prejudices, not analysis. And these prejudices are subject to fads and fashions."

Did Indian leadership in early 1960's- read J L Nehru- "take positions based on careful consideration of the options" vis-à-vis border disputes with China and Pakistan? Or "much of what they believed rested on prejudices, not analysis"?

As for me, I was very moved by this picture (dated August 25, 1959) of Mr. Khan and his wife. They make a handsome couple worthy of a role in contemporary Hindi film. Move over Motilal and Meena Kumari!