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."

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."

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

चाफा मात्र फुलतच राहतो, Champak Goes On and On: Lyrical, Tragic, and Comic

चाफा मात्र फुलतच राहतो, Champak Goes On and On: Lyrical, Tragic, and Comic

Today Oct 18 2011 is 8th death anniversary of my Tai Mavashi (ताई -मावशी ). And I lost my second mavashi- Kumud (कुमुद)- on October 1 2011...Now, including my mother and their mother, all four of them, I like to think, are together. Wherever.

Once I wanted to escort these three Bhate (भाटे ) sisters on a jaunt to Mahad (महाड), their beloved native town, instead I accompanied each of them to crematorium...This is growing up!

कवी गोविंद (1874-1926) (Kavi Govind)

सुंदर मी होणार, आतां सुंदर मी होणार!
सुंदर मी होणार । हो। मरणानें जगणार।...

...जुनी इंद्रिये, जुना पिसारा.. सर्व सर्व झडणार हो..
नव्या तनुचे, नव्या शक्तीचे.. पंख मला फुटणार हो..
सुंदर मी होणार.

There is so much hope in the poet's words above...Death will remake him, get rid of his disability and make him beautiful all over again...easily one of the most memorable poems in 20th century Marathi.

After seeing my Tai-mavashi for the last time at Kolhapur (कोल्हापुर) crematorium on the banks of Panchganga (पंचगंगा), I looked at the evening sky...

It had never looked that beautiful.

What was I doing at that goddamn crematorium instead of looking at pretty girls of Kolhapur at Rankala (रंकाळा) and Mahadwar (महाद्वार ) road, or making plans of which movies to see, or where to eat outside: what we always did while visiting her in the past, when R D Burman song "Yeh shyam mastani" (ये शाम मस्तानी) from 'Kati Patang',1970 never stopped playing?

Sure, death might have made my mavashi more beautiful- it wasn't obvious though- but what about the sky in real life that was even more beautiful than usual after her death? Evening was still graceful (ये शाम मस्तानी) but now in a creepy way.

Can we reconcile this?

Not Mark Twain. He thinks it's a mockery:

“I lost Susy thirteen years ago; I lost her mother—her incomparable mother!—five and a half years ago; Clara has gone away to live in Europe; and now I have lost Jean. How poor I am, who was once so rich! … Jean lies yonder, I sit here; we are strangers under our own roof; we kissed hands good-by at this door last night—and it was forever, we never suspecting it. She lies there, and I sit here—writing, busying myself, to keep my heart from breaking. How dazzlingly the sunshine is flooding the hills around! It is like a mockery."

Not C T Khanolkar (चिं.त्र्यं.खानोलकर) either:

आणि आकाशाकडे बघून त्याने गर्जना केली :
बाप्पा तुला क्षमा नाही
वाड्यावरची माणसे दोंदे वाढवतात
माझ्या काश्याचे पाय जातात
चाफा मात्र फुलतच राहतो

[I have quoted these lines of CTK as I recall them from, I think, a दीपावली (Deepawali) magazine's diwali number from 1970's. Errors if any are regretted.]

Maybe George Santayana:

“Everything in nature is lyrical in its ideal essence, tragic in its fate, and comic in its existence."

Artist: Helen E Hokinson (1893-1949), The New Yorker, March 15 1941

Champak like begonia goes on and on...

A E Housman

“For Nature, heartless, witless Nature
Will neither know nor care”