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, September 07, 2011

Celebrating Birthdays to make the City Uglier

The Times of India, September 5 2011, Pune edition, Front page:

"Garbage has been piling up around the city for some time now and the situation has only aggravated during the ongoing Ganesh festival..."

There are many ugly aspects of urban Pune.

The ugliest of course is overflowing and stinking large garbage heaps located on the main streets of Pune suburbs.

The second most ugliest is: banners erected to observe birthdays of local leaders.

Birthday celebration still remains an alien concept to me. In my childhood, birthday was such a personal and quiet affair. Only Lord Rama's, Lord Krishna's and King Shivaji's birth anniversaries were celebrated with festivity.

I wonder who the first Indian leader- other than former princely rulers- or celebrity was to celebrate his/her birthday under public glare. Didn't they feel shy?

Courtesy: Pudhari (पुढारी), April 14 2011