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!"

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."

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Shravan! Three Swings

Today July 31 2011 is the first day of Shravan of Shaka year 1933 (श्रावण , शके १९३३). Shravan, the month of swings (झोका ) and mother's home (माहेर)!

"Suno Sajana Papihe Ne" from director Raghunath Jalani's "Aaye Din Bahaar Ke" (1966), composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal and sung by Lata Mangeshkar, is one of the best songs I have heard.

I never tire of listening to it. Although I am already fifty Shravans old, it creates excitement for the fifty-first!

Towards the end of the song there is a sequence on a swing.

"baaghon men pad gaye hain, saawan ke mast jhule"

Now watch another sequence on a swing from Satyajit Ray's "Charulata", 1964

Notice how, towards the end, camera rides with Madhabi Mukherjee (Charulata) looking at Soumitra Chatterjee (Amal).

I was stunned when I first noticed it.

Normally, for me, a good cinema almost always loses to a good book except The Godfather. But this sequence brings out the power of the cinema.

If a writer were to describe Charulata's confusion, her dilemma about her feelings towards cousin-in-law Amal, it would take more effort and time- even for Tagore or Tolstoy- than what Mr. Ray accomlishes so elegantly by that rocking camera.

And don't we all know how different the world looks from a swing?

Once I saw 'Charulata', I always thought what a disappointment 'Aaye Din Bahaar Ke' scene was. The song is divine but the director's treatment is so pedestrian.

Mr. Jalani could have learnt a lot just watching 'Charulata' which was released almost 2 years earlier than his own film.

And finally a swing on which I wish I sat one day...

"The Swing" Artist: Francisco Goya, Completion year: 1779