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."
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
"Anju, how hot have you poured tea? Tongue is torched..."
(Open the picture in another browser window to get a clearer view of the news in the Marathi broadsheet* held by HIM.)
Artist: Vasant Sarwate (वसंत सरवटे), 1968
* the broadsheet he is reading has these news-items: "A quake in Iran kills 5,000 and injures thousands", "floods in Gujarat killing hundreds", "Boat capsizes" etc!
"Rajini fells all records with sci-fi entertainer Endhiran...The year’s biggest box-office event, Endhiran’s first day, first show, kept its date. On Friday, the big-budget, multi-lingual Rajinikanth starrer, with an ‘official’ budget of Rs 162 crore and ‘unofficial’ budget based on market rumour of Rs 250-300 crore, opened to packed houses, with tickets sold out days in advance...
# Biggest budget for any movie in Indian film industry
# To be shown on 2,250 screens worldwide, including in China
# First Tamil film album in iTunes World Album Top 10
# First Indian sci-fi movie with 1,500 graphical shots"
गोविंदराव टेंबे: "नवीन काहीतरी करावं हे धारिष्ट्यच आपल्या सिनेमावाल्या लोकांत नाही , त्यामुळे आणि त्यामुळेच त्यांची अशी दुर्दशा झाली आहे."
['सांस्कृतिक महाराष्ट्राचे शिल्पकार : गोविंदराव टेंबे', 2006 लेखक: डॉ. सौ. चारुशीला दिवेकर]
(Govindrao Tembe: "Thers is no courage among our cinema people to do something bold and because of that and that alone they are in terrible shape."
from "Sanskritik Maharashtrache Shilpkar : Govindrao Tembe", 2006 by Dr. Mrs. Charusheela Divekar)
'Enthiran The Robot' was shown on Sony TV on the evening of March 13 2011. I couldn't see it because I wanted to watch the live coverage of the last day of Yonex All England Badminton Championships.
Rajinikanth's (Shivaji Rao Gaekwad, शिवाजीराव गायकवाड) first language is Marathi and he still speaks the language with some relish and certainly much 'better'- for my ears at any rate- than many Marathi 'celebrities'.
Earlier I wrote a post on Marathi films on Dec 18 2007. Read it here Ugh! Marathi Films.
Since then I have seen parts of both 'Mee Shivaji raje Bhosale boltoy' (मी शिवाजी राजे भोसले बोलतोय) and Natrang (नटरंग).
I did not like the former at all and found the latter OK.
But frankly 'Natrang' is not close to many Marathi films of the past, especially a few of those starring Nilu Phule (नीळू फुले), Arun Sarnaik (अरुण सरनाईक), Ganpat Patil (गणपत पाटील), Ramesh Deo (रमेश देव), Jayshree Gadkar (जयश्री गडकर), Usha Chavan (उषा चव्हाण), Leela Gandhi(लीला गांधी)- (has a Marathi speaking woman ever danced better than her?)...
[The other day I watched 'Mumbaicha Jawai' (मुंबईचा जावई) . What a wonderful film with some brilliant acting by Sharad Talwalkar (शरद तळवलकर) and others!]
I have already quoted following earlier.
Suhas Palshikar: "...preferential treatment to locals is always an easy and attractive policy proposal. What is wrong with it? It is wrong simply because it creates an untenable category of “local”. In administrative parlance it becomes “domicile” – meaning resident for 15 years. This strategy practically abandons diversity. Apart from raising issues of definition of the local, such a policy encourages inbreeding and denies its beneficiaries he advantage of greater exposure and competition. It produces ghettoisation at schools, colleges and at workplaces – resulting in non-diverse social universes –hostels, localities and cities...."
More than anything else, I feel, this ghettoisation affects Marathi culture deeply.
Almost no Marathi cultural program shown on TV is complete without talking about "outsiders". For them, not just Hindi, but any other language or its native speaker is a fair game.
Even the devastating floods of 2009 in North Karnataka- where lacs of Marathi speakers live- were NOT covered in any depth by most Marathi media. (btw- They are covering March 2011 Japanese quakes in great depth!)
Like Vilas Sarang (विलास सारंग) says about Marathi literary world, this Marathi media world too is afflicted with "inbreeding".
As I have said earlier, Namdev is arguably the greatest bilingual Indian writer because apart from his enormous talent, his vision was worldly and heart large. (Where was he domiciled? Maharashtra or Punjab?)
If Marathi has to assert itself on India and the world stage, her 'lovers' need to do some serious re-thinking on how to get there.
Returning to Endhiran, look at the picture below.
Artist: Alan Dunn, The New Yorker, July 17 1937
"I dread the day when I'll have to tell him about sex."
Maybe. But what about telling him what happens after the sex?
In Enthiran, like '3 Idiots' in 2009, robot Chitti manages a complex child delivery successfully.
p.s. We as a nation are obsessed with producing babies!