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: "… 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."
Tuesday, March 08, 2011
(Surname ending with 'ni'...by that logic I, too, am Sindhi...after meeting me after many years a hostel-mate felt that I looked like an Iranian...So Sindhi is closer home!)
(bronze 'dancing girl' from Mohenjo-daro in Sind, Pakistan c 2000 BC)
She is Sindhi alright! Let us call her Sheila.
This is how- in one of the most moving pieces of prose- historian John Keay describes her in his book 'India: A History', 2000:
Although probably not dancing, the `dancing girl' is unquestionably `a pleasing little thing'. Naked save for a chunky necklace and an assortment of bangles, this minuscule statuette is not of the usual Indian sex symbol, full of breast and wide of hip, but of a slender nymphet happily flaunting puberty with delightful insouciance. Her pose is studiously casual, one spindly arm bent with the hand resting on a déhanché hip, the other dangling so as to brush a slightly raised knee. Slim and attenuated, the legs are slightly parted, and one foot — both are now missing- must have been pointed. She could be absent-mindedly surveying her wardrobe, except that her head is thrown back as if challenging a suitor, and her hair is somehow dressed into a heavy plaited chignon of perilous but intentionally dramatic construction. Decidedly, she wants to be admired; and she might be gratified to know that, four thousand years later, she still is.
[I trust only the late D G Godse (द ग गोडसे) to write stuff comparable to this, or even better than this, on such a subject, in Marathi.]
Here is an example of "the usual Indian sex symbol, full of breast and wide of hip":
(MITHUNAS, CAVE 3, Kanheri, 2nd century A.D. )
Does Ms. Katrina Kaif, below, too belong to the category of "...not of the usual Indian sex symbol, full of breast and wide of hip, but of a slender nymphet"?
They say, like history, fashion is cyclical.
There are three pictures above: 4000 year, 2000 year and 1 year.
Ladies in the first and the third have a lot in common. But I wonder when Ms. Kaif will get her own John Keay.