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."

Friday, January 14, 2011

ऐ मेरे वतन के लोगो

"...कोई सिख कोई जाट मराठा
कोई गुरखा कोई मदरासी
सरहद पे मरनेवाला
हर वीर था भारतवासी

जो ख़ून गिरा पर्वत पर
वो ख़ून था हिंदुस्तानी
जो शहीद हुए हैं उनकी
ज़रा याद करो क़ुरबानी..." कवि प्रदीप

Stanley Crouch:
…heroes need huge obstacles to teach them what they must know in order to achieve the victories demanded of them.

Dominic Sandbrook:
Despite all the patriotic American nonsense about the "greatest generation", (Antony) Beevor shows that there were remarkably few heroes. There were rarely "more than a handful of men prepared to take risks and attack," he says; most men just wanted to get home in one piece and "somebody else to play the role of hero". Surveys showed that if a few broke ranks and fled, the rest would follow; in most engagements, as many as half never fired a shot.

This could be true of Panipat 1761 too but the important thing is there were "few heroes". And today is the day to remember them one more time. Let us also not forget their mounts- ponies, elephants, camels, bullocks...(read a related post here).

Remembering those who died 250 years ago today on Makar Sankranti day January 14 1761 at Panipat whose great valour was praised in lofty terms by none other than the enemy who vanquished them...

They made the supreme sacrifice NOT in the name of
a Caste,
a Religion,
a Language,
a Region...

but, maybe unwittingly, to preserve the idea of tolerant, pluralistic, multilingual, multiethnic India...

Read a related post that was written to mark the beginning of the anniversary year on January 15 2010 here.

Joseph Campbell: "A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself. ”


Artist: Pablo Picasso

(Ignore the name of the artist for a moment and look at the picture again.

Isn't it still deeply moving?

Don, Sancho, bright sun, high ideals, dreams, castles, princesses, mounts, spear, shield, windmills...Who is to say victory or defeat?

I still remember my confusion reading Mahabharat that when Yudhishthira reaches the heaven he finds Kauravas who were killed in the battle- and not his brothers who died during the journey- having good time.)