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."

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Sheila, The Eternal Woman, dating back 4000 years, 2000 years, 1 year

Filmstar Akshay Kumar said, in a lighter vein, on TV program 'Jhalak Dikhla Jaa', that Sheila of 'Tees Maar Khan' is Sindhi because she herself says: "My name is Sheila, Sheila Ki Jawani"...S K Jawani!

(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.

6010 CE?