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."

Friday, February 25, 2011

Good Bye, Anant Pai, thank you and btw- Why did you tone down?

Creator of the Amar Chitra Katha, Anant Pai passed away on February 24, 2011.

As a tribute to him, I am recycling my old post.

I was a voracious reader in my childhood. For recreation, I read only Marathi until I was almost 12 or 13. Magazine “Chandoba” (“Chandamama” in Hindi) was one of my favourite. We did not buy it every month because my father did not like it much. Amar Chitra Katha (ACK) was borne in 1967 but I could lay my hands on it much later.

I thought I liked only stories from “Chandoba” but realized later that I also liked accompanying pictures. Pictures of curvaceous women. I also read a lot of Indian mythology that of course has quite a bit of sex.

Recently ACK completed 40 years of its very successful existence-400 titles, 86 million copies sold.

Mr. Pai, ACK’s creator, admitted to The Times of India (June 29 2007) that imagery of early ACK issues was quite sexy. He said:”…….. our major influences were the sculptures of Ajanta, Ellora…..We may have been a bit over influenced by it….But forget the first 25 titles or so, we have toned it down.”

Pratap Mulick pioneering illustrator of ACK died recently. I hope he never regretted his following picture of Matsyakanya or Vasavadatta or Satyavati or Shakuntala or who ever she is...Even today she makes my knees go wobbly!

Why regret Mr. Pai? I wish to thank you and Mr. Pratap Mulick, particularly for first 25 titles, and to anonymous illustrators of “Chandoba” for giving me pleasure.

You saved me from porn.

Artist: Pratap Mulick
Artist: Robert Weber, The New Yorker, 9 Feb 1998