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."

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Nutan, Tujhe Kya Sunao Main Dilruba

Nutan is one of the greatest actors I have seen. (Frankly, it goes beyond acting. When I was 14 or 15, after watching her in Anari, made before I was even borne, at Madhav माधव talkies in Miraj मिरज, I wanted to marry her! She of my father's age!)

I had never seen Aakhri Dao (1958), an imminently forgettable film, until recently. I mention the film only because of two things- Madan Mohan's music and Nutan's acting. (A lot of Hindi films of 1950's were as lousy as most films of today. The only difference is the quality of music and a Nutan here and a Balraj Sahni there.)

Watch video of 'tujhe kya sunao main dilruba', a song from the film, on You Tube here.

I was stunned by the journey of Nutan's face in those 3 min 34 secs.

She goads her co-actor Shekhar into singing a song. He obliges. Now, although she is well aware of his feelings for her, she is balled over by the display of affection by him in front of all her friends.

Look at very awkward Nutan's fidgeting for first 1 min 45 secs or so. It's an absolute delight.

And then it all changes.

As the third stanza is about to begin, Shammi, quite wisely, troops out with all the girls. But it doesn't matter because Nutan doesn't even notice it. She now has gone into an acting trance where few can go.

Look at her eyes. Tears have welled up there. They don't look glycerine induced to me. I just drown in them.

All the superlative talent of Mohammed Rafi, Madan Mohan and Majrooh Sultanpuri combined is only second to the genius I see on the screen.

If I had a say, I would put a dot bindi, or no bindi at all, on her forehead instead of this elongated one.