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."

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."

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."

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Will today's Bandunana and Pandutatya hear Chitragupta?

The Asian Age March 24 2011:
"Minister of state for environment Jairam Ramesh on Wednesday launched a nationwide campaign to reduce noise levels across India, as it was turning “too noisy”..."

Nikil Saval:

"...What if we tried to listen to nothing? Silence is the feature of our buzzing sound-world we enjoy least, whose very existence we threaten to pave over track by track. Silence is the most endangered musical experience in our time. Turning it up, we might figure out what all our music listening is meant to drown out, the thing we can't bear to hear."

(Slate, March 28, 2011)

Sudhir Venkatesh:

"In public spaces, serendipitous interaction is needed to create the 'mob mentality.' Most iPod-like devices separate citizens from one another; you can't join someone in a movement if you can't hear the participants. Congrats Mr. Jobs for impeding social change."

Stanley Crouch:

"People are uncomfortable in silence because it can breed needless contemplation and may engender a floating into the deeper world of the self."

I celebrated the end of cricket ODI world cup because it was my life's noisiest sports tournament in India. Noisier than even Ganesh Chaturthi and Diwali.

Wiki: Chitragupta (चित्रगुप्त) is a Hindu God assigned with the task of keeping complete records of actions of human beings on the earth. Upon their death, Chitragupta has the task of deciding heaven or the hell for the humans, depending on their actions on the earth.

The interesting aspect is: Chitragupta reads out one's life's balance sheet to the dead.

More than 100 years ago, Shripad Krushna Kolhatkar (श्रीपाद कृष्ण कोल्हटकर) wrote a brilliant article 'Chitraguptacha Jamakharch' ('चित्रगुप्ताचा जमाखर्च') on what happened when his characters Bandunana (बंडूनाना) and Pandutatya (पांडूतात्या), after their death, reached Chitragupta's court and listened to their accounts.
['Sahitya-Battishi : Sudamyache Pohe', 1910 ('साहित्य-बत्तिशी : सुदाम्याचे पोहे')]

Alas there was very little show on the credit side. But at least they heard what was read out.

We mayn't be that lucky.

(apologies for the quality of cartoon's reproduction as my scanner is still down. Please open the picture in another window to get a better view.)

caption in Marathi reads:

"चित्रगुप्त महाराज! वाचून काही उपयोग नाही. हे सर्व मुंबईतून आलेले आहेत ठार बहिरे आहेत .."

("Chitragupta Maharaj! No point reading. They all have come from Mumbai and are stone-deaf...)

Artist: Vasant Sarwate, 1996

"The Best of Sarwate"
editor: Avadhoot Paralkar, Lokvangmay Gruh 2008

[कलावंत: वसंत सरवटे, १९९६ , "सरवोत्तम सरवटे" संपादक: अवधूत परळकर, लोकवाङ्मय गृह 2008]