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."

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.


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