मेघदूत: "नीचैर्गच्छत्युपरि च दशा चक्रनेमिक्रमेण"

समर्थ शिष्या अक्का : "स्वामीच्या कृपाप्रसादे हे सर्व नश्वर आहे असे समजले. पण या नश्वरात तमाशा बहुत आहे."

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.”

Friedrich Nietzsche: “Everybody wants the same, everybody is the same: whoever feels different goes voluntarily into a madhouse.”

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);...”

सदानंद रेगे:
"... पण तुकारामाची गाथा ज्या धुंदीनं आजपर्यंत वाचली जात होती ती धुंदी माझ्याकडे नाहीय. ती मला येऊच शकत नाही याचं कारण स्वभावतःच मी नास्तिक आहे."
".. त्यामुळं आपण त्या दारिद्र्याच्या अनुभवापलीकडे जाऊच शकत नाही. तुम्ही जर अलीकडची सगळी पुस्तके पाहिलीत...तर त्यांच्यामध्ये त्याच्याखेरीज दुसरं काही नाहीच आहे. म्हणजे माणसांच्या नात्यानात्यांतील जी सूक्ष्मता आहे ती क्वचित चितारलेली तुम्हाला दिसेल. कारण हा जो अनुभव आहे... आपले जे अनुभव आहेत ते ढोबळ प्रकारचे आहेत....."

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."

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Wish for Stray Dogs this Christmas

Charles Dickens:

“Lost friend, lost child, lost parent, sister, brother, husband, wife, we will not so discard you! You shall hold your cherished places in our Christmas hearts, and by our Christmas fires; and in the season of immortal hope, and on the birthday of immortal mercy, we will shut out Nothing!”


...Dehumanization — representing people to be lesser, non¬human creatures, as when police officers label crimes against criminals as “N.H.I.” (“No Humans Involved”), or when Muammar el-Qaddafi calls his critics “stray dogs” — isn’t just shabby rhetoric. Dehumanization is a mind-set, as Smith writes, that “decommissions” our “moral inhibitions” about mistreating fellow human beings. Encased in law and custom, this psychological process has often licensed slavery, genocide and countless other cruelties.

(review of 'Why We Demean, Enslave, and Exterminate Others' by David Livingstone Smith, NYT, March 4 2011)

Jenny Diski:

“All the animals I knew in the early years of my life were stuffed.”

I like stray dogs. Most times. Each has a distinct personality and if you care to spend some time, their lives are miserable but interesting.

Almost every morning, a stray bitch waits for me to feed her biscuits as I return home from my walk. If she isn't there, I miss something.

I still remember the late morning in 1970's when, as I got ready to go to school that opened at 12:10 PM, I was informed by friends that our favourite stray 'Vakadmani' (वाकडमानी) was dead, poisoned by municipal staff.

I went and saw her foaming at mouth, slightly bloated body. I was devastated and remained so for a number of days. I would not feel that bad again until Shreedhar Joglekar-sir's (श्रीधर जोगळेकर) death a few years later. As I filed past Joglekar Sir's body in c 1978, Vakadmani was on my mind.

I almost never feel proud of what I have done in my life but one thing I feel good about is I never threw stones at strays and chameleons when it was fashionable among kids in Miraj.

But the strays have certainly become a bit of menace for many people in Pune and elsewhere in India.

I never venture out of my house on foot in dark because of strays.

The Times of India reported on Dec 23 2011:

"Mumbai: Despite taking steps to curb the stray dog menace in the city, there seems to be a steady increase in the instances of dog bites...

... in a decade's time, the dog bite cases have mounted from 53,051 to 77,484 in 2010..."

I hope we find a way for strays and humans to coexist without biting and killing.

Artist: Dana Summers, December 2011