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 22, 2010

Damn, Why didn't I smoke? Because I like that in a Man. And a Woman

Anthony Daniels: "Back in the old days, intellectuals used to smoke. Indeed, anyone who didn’t smoke couldn’t be a real intellectual, and a cigarette, held at an angle on the lower lip by dried saliva, added immense depth to anyone’s thought. It’s not surprising, then, that old philosophy books tend to smell like ashtrays..."

The Times of India headline on Sept 16 2010: "Antibiotics in most honey brands: study"

I regret not to have ever smoked. Every time I see an old English or Hindi film, I notice people smoking with so much style that I envy them.

Even an idiot gets a personality smoking.

The other day I was watching C.I.D. (Hindi film, 1956).

When Dev Anand playing police inspector informs his boss K N Singh that he has found a cigarette butt discarded possibly by the murder suspect, Singh- all style- retorts: "In Bombay there live forty lac people and perhaps ten lac of them smoke."


‘You have a lighter — I like that in a man.’

courtesy: Spectator, July 2010

And if I had taken up smoking, I surely wouldn't have cared about surgeon general's warning- "skull and bones" besides a dead body- because, not just honey, but most of the stuff I now consume- air, water, milk, fruits especially mangoes, green vegetables is so polluted anyway. (I know because they taste so different from what they did during my childhood.)

Talk of fresh air: Although my base was Doom Dooma, Assam, I used to travel often between Kolkata and Dibrugarh from 1989-1991. When I went to Kolkata, I often got unwell. On my return to Assam, as my pickup car took a left turn from the airport towards our way to Doom Dooma, just one long deep breath in that air used to cure me of all nagging coughs and colds.


Artists: Brant Parker (1920–2007) and Johnny Hart (1931–2007), Jeff Parker