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."

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Makers of Today's India- Rajesh Khanna- 1 of My 19

Kiran Nagarkar:

"My family never saw Hindi films. When i started seeing Hindi films in college, our group booed the ludicrous goings-on...good Hindi films were hard to come by and 'art' films weren't my cup of tea.
It's only while writing on Hindi films of the 1950s and 60s and Shammi Kapoor for an earlier novel that my views completely changed - i became mellow and a lot more sympathetic to Hindi cinema. I realised that you cannot understand the contemporary Indian psyche without understanding Bollywood."

Recycling earlier post dated August 2011...

Makers of Today's India- Rajesh Khanna- 1 of My 19...And even if he was NOT a maker of today's India, he certainly was a maker of today's me!

From 1969- 1974, he was an integral part of my life. We saw so many of his movies at Kolhapur that he became one from that city where my dear aunt, mother's sister, resided. When she died a few years ago in Kolhapur, what I remembered at her funeral was his song "Yeh shyam mastani" (ये शाम मस्तानी) from 'Kati Patang',1970.

George Orwell:

History is thought of largely in nationalist terms, and such things as the Inquisition, the tortures of the Star Chamber, the exploits of the English buccaneers (Sir Francis Drake, for instance, who was given to sinking Spanish prisoners alive), the Reign of Terror, the heroes of the Mutiny blowing hundreds of Indians from the guns, or Cromwell's soldiers slashing Irishwomen's faces with razors, become morally neutral or even meritorious when it is felt that they were done in the 'right' cause.


Instead of recognizing the importance of apocalyptic thinking, Mr. Landes argues, we prefer to posit a common-sense world in which grand flights of imagination are construed as outbursts of misguided enthusiasm. Most historians, he says, make the same mistake. They view apocalyptic prophecy as a kind of falsified madness that leaves little of importance behind.

In fact, Mr. Landes says, the whole texture of our lives is deeply affected by our response to both past apocalyptic beliefs and current millennial aspirations. Nor is apocalyptic frenzy limited to the religious sphere. It also underlies the secular world of seemingly common-sense understanding. (WSJ, July 28 2011)

Ramachandra Guha's book "Makers of Modern India" was recently published.

It profiles nineteen Indians whose ideas, according to the author, had a defining impact on the formation and evolution of our Republic.

Here are my nineteen who were borne 1800 CE or later and whose ideas and actions, ahead of others, have a defining impact on the state of Indian union today:

(Names are not in any order. And I defy anyone who says history is progress.)

1. Lord Macaulay

2. B G Tilak

3. M K Gandhi

4. Rabindranath Tagore

5. M A Jinnah

6. B R Ambedkar

7. J L Nehru

8. M S Golvilkar

9. Indira Gandhi

10. L K Advani

11. V P Singh

12. Dhirubhai Ambani

13. Raj Kapoor

14. M. G. Ramachandran

15. Shankar-Jaikishan

16. C. Subramaniam

17. Rajesh Khanna

18. Manmohan Singh

19. Sachin Tendulkar

And remember, like Mr. Gridley in the picture below that is now 78-year old but remains brilliant, whether best-selling historians or ordinary bloggers, they put too much of themselves into 'it'!

Artist: Leonard Dove, The New Yorker, July 29 1933