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."

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

R G Gadkari's Sindhu, A Hitchcock's Blondes

I read Ram Ganesh Gadkari's (1885-1919) (राम गणेश गडकरी) "Ekach Pyala" (एकच प्याला) when in school.

I had mixed feelings. I was deeply stirred by its melodrama and use of Marathi but I also felt it was a tearjerker. (Read a related post on Ekach Pyala here.)

Play's protagonist Sindhu सिन्धु made a deep impression on me. But I wasn't attracted to her. I thought she was like many middle-class, largely Brahmin, women I came across in Miraj.

There was one very fair skinned, twenty plus, sharp-featured, five-yard saree-wearing Chitpavan Brahmin woman who passed by our house almost every day.

Wherever, any time of the day, she saw cow dung lying on a street, she stopped in her tracks, lifted it in her right palm, positioned that palm over her right shoulder, dung facing sky, and carried it to her house.

I thought Gadkari's Sindhu was like her except the length of saree as Sindhu surely wore nine-yard one.

How wrong I was!

I realised it when I read M. V. Dhond's (म. वा. धोंड) 'Chandra Chavathicha', 1987 (चंद्र चवथिचा; In English- "Fourth Day Moon").

Dhond uncovers, what Gadkari doesn't do overtly, attractiveness of Gadkari's Sindhu.

For instance after a long separation from her husband Sudhakar, Sindhu, whose marriage is not that old, is looking forward to mating with him. She is humming a suggestive song to herself.

In short: Sex is on her mind.

Dhond reasons that the 'fourth day' also implies the last day of a woman's monthly menstruation cycle, when having suffered variously, including even lack of bath, on account of prevailing social customs, women looked forward to a reunion with their husbands.

I was fascinated by this. Now, Sindhu started to look like many attractive middle-aged married women one comes across.

It reminded me of Hitchcock's presentation of his blondes Grace Kelly, Kim Novak, Tippi Hedren.

Why?

Hitchcock: You know why I favor sophisticated blondes in my films? We're after the drawing-room type, the real ladies, who become whores once they're in the bedroom.

Truffaut: What intrigues you is the paradox between the inner fire and the cool surface.

Hitchcock: Definitely...Do you know why? Because sex should not be advertised...because without the element of surprise the scenes become meaningless. There's no possibility to discover sex.


[Interview: Alfred Hitchcock and Francois Tuffaut (Aug/1962)]


Kim Novak, "Vertigo"


Artist: Raja Ravi Varma, "Lady in the Moon Light"

Is she Gadkari's Sindhu? And is that the fourth day moon?