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."

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”

CAMILLE PAGLIA:

"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."

Wikipedia:

"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...