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."

Sunday, July 24, 2011

लहान माझी बाहुली was such a far cry from Barbie

Barbie's co-creator, Elliot Handler, died on July 21 2011.

They say Barbie, born 1959, with her long legs, love of pink-tinged glamour, and hair made for combing, was a world away from the baby-like creatures cradled by girls of previous generations.

Indeed.

A world away in Miraj India, I probably never had a doll of my own. But I recall some of the dolls my younger sister had.

The following description fitted them all except one.

"लहान माझी बाहुली
मोठी तिची सावली
घारे डोळे फिरवीते
नकटे नाक उडवीते
गुबरे गाल फुगवीते..."

(Small is my doll
Large is her shadow
Rotates her light-coloured eyes
turns her short nose up
inflates het puffy cheeks...)

Now nothing of this description fits Barbie except perhaps the shadow part.

I said all of my sister's dolls except one because around 1970 a doll entered our home who was nattily dressed and had sharp features. She was a wind-up doll busy pouring wine in a glass and drinking it. We called her pour-gulp doll (ओतते-पिते बाहुली).

She was a special lady, in many ways like Barbie.

At our home, she never shared physical space with other Kakubai (काकुबाई) dolls. She 'lived' for many years before she was broken by my sister.

That remained my only brush with Barbie until 1990's.

I don't know when Barbies were first imported in India. Were they ever smuggled in heydays of Indian smuggling?


Ponytail Barbie courtesy: Wikipedia