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.”
Albert Einstein: “I am content in my later years. I have kept my good humor and take neither myself nor the next person seriously.” (To P. Moos, March 30, 1950. Einstein Archives 60-587)
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: "… इ. स. 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."
Tuesday, December 06, 2011
"Like every other writer, Shakespeare will be forgotten sooner or later..."
('Lear, Tolstoy and the Fool', 1947)
Dev Anand in 1999:
"When Pakistan was formed, we laughed at that time — Lahore and Bombay are one, how can this be — but it happened.
So who knows, as long as there are humans in this world, miracles are possible.”
Mohan Churiwala, Mr. Anand's closest associate:
"He hugged Nanda and wept inconsolably
After a special screening of Hum Dono (Rangeen), Nanda, a recluse, went to meet him at his office.When the door opened, she looked at him said “Devsaab, pehchana?” Devsaab came towards her, hugged her and started weeping. Nanda left in a few minutes and asked me outside, “Why did he get so emotional?” Later, she told me that they were meeting each other after 48 years, after 1963. Tears kept flowing down his cheeks even after Nanda had left." (The Times of India, December 18 2011)
A. O. SCOTT wrote on November 18 2011 in The New York Times:
"...But there is also something about cinema’s essentially modern character that makes it vulnerable to fears of obsolescence. The camera has an uncanny ability to capture the world as it is, to seize events as they happen, and also to conjure visions of the future. But by the time the image reaches the eyes of the viewer, it belongs to the past, taking on the status of something retrieved. As for those bold projections of what is to come, they have a habit of looking quaint as soon as they arrive.
Nostalgia, in other words, is built into moviegoing, which is why moviegoing itself has been, almost from the beginning, the object of nostalgia..."
If so I wonder why Mr. Dev Anand never liked to talk about past or even remember it. After all his art is deeply rooted in nostalgia!
I have really enjoyed and still enjoy watching some of his films:
Tere Mere Sapne (1971), Johny Mera Naam (1970), Jewel Thief (1967), Guide (1965), Tere Ghar Ke Samne (1963), Hum Dono (1961), Bombai Ka Baboo (1960), Kala Bazar (1960), Kalapani (1958), Nau Do Gyarah (1956), Paying Guest (1956), C.I.D. (1956), Taxi Driver (1954) and above all Baazi (1951). (Think of it, 'just' 14 films.)
Like ‘Godfather’ or ‘Casablanca’ or 'Jagte Raho', I can watch a part of 'Baazi' every day.
Seldom in the history of Hindi films more talent came together to make a film than this Navketan venture:
Directed by Guru Dutt
Produced by Dev Anand
Written by Balraj Sahni (screenplay, story, dialogue)
Lyrics by Sahir Ludhianvi
Starring Dev Anand, Geeta Bali
Music by S. D. Burman
Sung by Geeta Dutt
Bhaichand Patel writes in The Asian Age, Dec 4 2011:
"...Balraj Sahni, a classmate of Chetan in Lahore, was roped in to write the script, plagiarised from the Hollywood film Gilda, starring Rita Hayworth and Glenn Ford. Geeta Bali was to play one of the two lead female roles. The other went to someone fresh out of college, Kalpana Kartik (real name Mona Singha) who was related to Chetan’s wife. She later became Mrs Dev Anand. One of Baazi’s strongest attractions was its catchy music composed by S.D. Burman and sung beautifully by Geeta Roy, soon to become Mrs Guru Dutt. Neither of these two marriages worked, but let us not go into that!
Baazi’s story centres on a seedy gambling club and one of its patrons, played by Dev Anand. It was a dark film made in the film noir style borrowed largely from Warner Brothers’ productions starring, most times, Humphrey Bogart. This short-lived trend in our cinema had begun earlier with Gyan Mukherjee’s Sangram, with Ashok Kumar playing a gangster, and continued with films like Jaal, Aar Paar and CID..."
But for me his finest performance was on TV- his interview on “Rendezvous with Simi Garewal”. I was deeply moved the way he described his relationship with his mother and the hurt caused by her death before he came to Bombay. I thought in a way he never got over his loss. He still missed his mother and he probably never found the real love.
The last Dev Anand starred or directed film I watched was Des Pardes (1978). So for me, even before his death, he had been a memory for almost 33 years.
I don't know what Mr. Anand thought of immortality. But about him, there was a lot of talk about positive thinking, living in the present, fitness regime, frugal eating, company of young people, health checkups in London, working in one's 80's etc.
Considering all this, he would be disappointed with number 88.
I guess he would also agree with Woody Allen's views expressed in : "I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve immortality through not dying." or "Rather than live on in the hearts and minds of my fellow man, I’d prefer to live on in my apartment.”
In Mr. Anand's case: "in my Bandra penthouse".
For immortality, American futurist Ray Kurzweil proposes not resurrecting the body but instead shedding it altogether and uploading minds into cyberspace. Had the technology been available, I wonder Mr. Anand would have signed up for the program?
I also wonder what he would have thought of John Gray's views on such efforts:
"Freezing our bodies or uploading our minds into a supercomputer will not deliver us from ourselves. Wars and revolutions will disturb our frozen remains, while death will stalk us in cyberspace – also a realm of mortal conflict. Science enlarges what humans can do. It cannot reprieve them from being what they are."
I would like to remember Mr. Anand as a guy who portrayed many enjoyable moments of what we are.
Following cartoon of Sudhir Tailang has appeared in The Asian Age on Dec 5 2011.
I like Mr. Tailang's imagination but I just hope Mr. Anand is making a film from 1950's or 1960's or 1970's. It will be that much better if he gets his younger brother Vijay / Goldie to direct it and he goes in front of the camera. If not, it will be a film made in heaven to be shown in hell as a punishment!