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.”

H. P. Lovecraft: "What a man does for pay is of little significance. What he is, as a sensitive instrument responsive to the world's beauty, is everything!"

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: "… . . 1000 नंतर ज्या प्रकारची संस्कृती रुढ झाली , त्यामध्ये साधारणत्व विश्वात्मकता हे गुण प्राय: लुप्त झाले...आपली संस्कृती अकाली विश्वात्मक साधारणतेला मुकली आहे."

Saturday, November 10, 2012

हागला! Will we ever see India's El Caganer Diwali Figures?

Evelyn Waugh:

“Beware of seriousness: it is a form of stupidity”


"As respectability became the central middle-class value, censorship and repression became the norm. Victorian prudery ended the humorous sexual candor of both men and women during the agrarian era, a ribaldry chronicled from Shakespeare’s plays to the 18th-century novel."


"Jonathan Swift, an Irish satirist in the 17th century, used scatological humor in some of his pieces, including his famous essay A Modest Proposal and his rather crude poem "The Lady's Dressing Room," in which the speaker comments on the goings-on in a 17th-century woman's room, including her business in her chamber pot."

'Shit' is now as much an Indian language expression as say "aayla" (आयला) in Marathi is. I often use both 'shit' and 'aayla'- or its more intense version 'chyala' (च्यायला).

(According to Wikipedia, shit 'As a slang term, it has many meanings, including: nonsense, foolishness, something of little value or quality, trivial and usually boastful or inaccurate talk, or a contemptible person. It may also be used as an expression of annoyance, surprise, or anger, and has other usages as well.')

These days I also hear quite a bit of "haagla" (हागला) "pooped" in  Marathi conversations of young crowd. (For instance if a batsman in cricket got out in a stupid manner, he 'pooped'!)

I recently read about Catalonia's El Caganer Christmas Figures in Der Spiegel।. (Also see this.)

It says "A caganer -- or "pooper" -- is a small figurine of a person squatting down with lowered pants (or raised skirt) to answer nature's call. The original "El Caganer" is a wooden or clay figure of a peasant wearing the traditional floppy red Catalan cap with a black band ("barretina") and smoking a cigarette or a pipe."

courtesy: caganer.com and Spiegel Online

I laughed my head off and thought: Will we ever see such figures depicting India's prominent personalities? After all Samvat 2068 has been one of the most depressing for Indian nation. (watch former Chief Justice of India J S Verma's interview dated October 28 2012 here.)

I will probably never see such Indian figures but I can well imagine them...from business, politics, media, judiciary, culture, sports etc...There is so far no "thought-censorship" in India.

Btw- there is just one Indian public personality, I guess, who wouldn't mind such a 'caganer' depiction: Khushwant Singh...A true broad minded liberal...