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."

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

In Praise of Street sweepers

Today is Lakshmi Pujan, Ashwin Amavasya Shake 1933 (लक्ष्मी पूजन, आश्विन अमावस्या, शके १९३३)

Wikipedia: Lakshmi Pooja, or the worship of the goddess of wealth, is the main event on Diwali in North and West India. It is extremely important to keep the house spotlessly clean and pure on Diwali. Goddess Lakshmi likes cleanliness, and she will visit the cleanest house first. This is also the reason why
the broom is worshiped on this day with offerings of haldi and kumkum (turmeric and vermilion).

R S Sharma:

"Buddhism did not deprecate manual labour. In a second-century sculpture from Bodh-Gaya, the Buddha is depicted ploughing with oxen."

('India's Ancient Past', 2005)

Martin Luther King Jr., 1954:

"If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great streetsweeper that did his job well."

P L Deshpande (पु ल देशपांडे):

"उषा: तुम्हांला सगळ्याचाच मझा वाटतो.

काकाजी: पहिलं नीट म्हणजे बराबर मझा दिसतो. इंदूर स्टेशनात एकदा एक भंगी दोन लंब्या झाडू घेऊन कचरा काढीत होता. उषा, अरे ऐश्या झाडू फिरवीत होता, की तुझ्या सतीशला बॅट देखील फिरवता येणार नाही तशी."

("Usha: You think everything is fun.

Kakaji: If you look carefully, you notice fun alright. At Indore station once a street-sweeper was sweeping using two long brooms. Usha, the way he was brandishing broom, your Satish won't be able to wave a (cricket) bat.")

['Tujhe Ahe Tujapashi', 1957 (तुझें आहे तुजपाशीं)]

(If you like Pu La's Kakaji, you may want to read this.)

Artist: Eldon Dedini (1921-2006), The New Yorker, October 7 1961