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.”
Albert Einstein: “I am content in my later years. I have kept my good humor and take neither myself nor the next person seriously.” (To P. Moos, March 30, 1950. Einstein Archives 60-587)
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: "… इ. स. 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."
Friday, January 14, 2011
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
…heroes need huge obstacles to teach them what they must know in order to achieve the victories demanded of them.
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
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.)