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."
Friday, June 03, 2011
Exhibition of Dinanath Dalal's (दीनानाथ दलाल), 1916-1971, art was inaugurated on May 30 2011- Dalal's 95th birth anniversary- at Pune.
S D Phadnis (शि द फडणीस) said on the occasion that Dalal built a bridge over the divide between sensibility of an ordinary man and the art of painting.
For instance, look below at the picture Phadnis and others are looking at. It is artist's imagination of Shivaji's court. I don't know how accurate it is historically but I always thought Shivaji's court looked like that!
courtesy: Pudhari (पुढारी), May 31 2011
(The lady in the forefront is Suman Kalyanpur सुमन कल्याणपुर .)
(p.s. We attended a family function on June 26 2011 at a community hall- 'Gokul'- in Pune. One of its wall had a replica of this very painting of Dalal. It made my day!)
The person whose pictures I most watched as a kid was Dalal, followed by Bhaiyyasaheb Omkar (भैय्यासाहेब ओंकार), Raghuvir Mulgaonkar (रघुवीर मुळगावकर)...and many anonymous artists, including those who painted the front wall of famous marriage-halls of Miraj with various figures like Jay and Vijay, the gatekeepers of Vishnu.
Dalal gave lacs of Marathi people like me a "vision" to imagine a historical or mythical event. Or simply a beautiful picture to enjoy.
I had already seen dozens of Dalal's pictures before I even learnt his name! I also remember how respectfully his name was always mentioned at our home by our father. (Not many from Marathi art world- not certainly Mulgaonkar- can claim that honour!)
Dalal's influence on the pictures that I see all around in Maharashtra persists to this day. But he is hardly mentioned in 'popular' Marathi media.
Another artist my father respected a lot, Vasant Sarwate (वसंत सरवटे), has written an essay- '...dhyas matra abhijat chitrakalecha!' (...ध्यास मात्र अभिजात चित्रकलेचा!) on Dalal. Find it in his book 'Sahapravasi' (सहप्रवासी), 2005.
No one writing in Marathi could have done more justice to Dalal's talent than Sarwate. [It's likely D G Godse's द. ग. गोडसे essay on Dalal- 'The Genius from an Enchanted land'- is equally good but I haven't still read it.]
Sarwate says we can't imagine the popularity Dalal attained in Maharashtra during 1940-1970. Only Raja Ravi Varma (1848-1906) did it earlier decades...There was probably no prominent Marathi writer whose at least one book's cover was not created by Dalal...His depiction of women became a form of poetry...He can be compared only to C. K. Nayudu and Bal Gandharva (बालगंधर्व).
(Pause a little to appreciate how Maharashtra embraced whole heartedly non-Marathi artist Raja Ravi Varma. It was no big deal in India of those days. Although many of them didn't understand Marathi fully, Bal Gandharva was as much loved by a lot of Gujaratis, Parsees and North Kannadigas as Maharashtrians.)
Sarwate dwells on many fascinating aspects of Dalal's art but the last three paragraphs of his essay are most moving:
"...it can be deduced from his writings that despite huge popular and commercial success Dalal wasn't very happy internally...he wanted to pursue only classical art by giving up commercial art entirely...he couldn't quite do it but because of this burning desire his commercial art undoubtedly was touched by class...And it is a great fortune of Marathi literature and art."
Dalal has left behind a large body of creative output.
This is from Marathi best-selling book 'Raja Shivchhatrapati' (राजा शिवछत्रपति ) by Babasaheb Purandare (बाबासाहेब पुरंदरे).
I remember how devastated I felt when- reading it first time in c 1970- I came across the picture at the end of the book.
Did Shivaji-maharaj too die just like so many of them did in our Miraj neighbourhood? I couldn't quite get over the grief for many days. I still recall the pain when I see it....Dalal's picture, not Purandare's words, had created that mood.
George Orwell has said: "Many children begin to know his characters by sight before they can even read, for on the whole Dickens was lucky in his illustrators."
So was Purandare!
See the picture just below this paragraph. On this blog, I have appreciated beauty of many women- from my mother to Leela Naidu, from Nutan to Ingrid Bergman, from Mohenjo-daro dancing girl to a beauty from Kanheri caves. ...but I have no words to describe Dalal's HER.
Artist: Dinanath Dalal, Courtesy: Jyotsna Prakashan (ज्योत्स्ना प्रकाशन)