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: "… . . 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Ms. Tagore's body trembles---Why? Lack of Footwear, Not Her Lover's Touch

Paul Johnson:

"The power of a pocket...

For women have no pockets. Why? The question takes us into the murkier depths of the sex war as well as the arcana of sartorial history...

The record shows that the absence of pockets was a huge disadvantage to females and one reason why male superiority was so steadfastly maintained..."

(The Spectator, June 4 2011)

I was taken aback when a few years ago my wife Anju asked me if I had ever noticed that heroines in Hindi films seldom wore footwear while singing a duet (song) outdoor.

Be it in on farms, in jungle, on rubble, in snow, through fire, on glass, in water, on boulder, in rain...

I hadn't.

Since then I have always paid attention to the feet of dancing dames and found, to my horror, that Anju is almost always right.

Another thing we often notice- while watching Hindi film songs- is, even in severe cold, those Indian dames don't wear clothes covering their entire body while men wear suits and even headgear!

"palako.n ke piichhe se kyaa tumane kah Daalaa phir se to faramaanaa" (पलकों के पीछे से क्या तुमने कह डाला फिर से तो फ़रमाना) is one of the best songs I have heard.

[Film: Talaash (1969) Music Director: S D Burman, Lyricist: Majrooh, Singers: Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar]

Notice, how, even in snow, Sharmila Tagore is walking barefoot while Rajendra Kumar is wearing nice shoes. Also, notice the difference in the kind of clothes they are wearing.

There is a line in the song:

...दुनिया ना देखे धड़के मेरा मन रस्ता सजन मेरा छोड़ो
तन थरथराए उँगली हमारी देखो पिया न मरोड़ो...

तन थरथराए? Body trembles?...Lack of footwear, Ma'am.

Surely Two Species: One from cold Mars, One from boiling Venus