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."

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Missing Mr. Bal Thackeray Only As a Cartoonist

Since late afternoon of November 17 2012 all shops- including medical ones- in our area are closed. Today November 18 we could NOT even get any milk in the morning. So far water is running in our taps. But who knows? Yes, we have no choice but to mourn the death. I remember how much I suffered as a bachelor in Mumbai for 3 days after Mrs. Indira Gandhi had died. On that day no Indian radio station was ready to say: Mrs. Gandhi was dead. My cable provider on November 18 blocked all TV channels except the news ones. Great men and women are forced to be mourned alike!

"Mumbai’s communal fault lines were thoroughly exploited by Thackeray and his Sainiks, especially in the weeks after the demolition of the Babri Masjid in December 1992. As the Srikrishna Commission documents, Muslims were systematically killed in riots engineered by Sena leaders."

I do not want to say a word about Mr. Bal Thackeray as a politician but he was a good cartoonist. (Although not a great one in my books.)

I still remember his Marmik (मार्मिक) pictures. They were repetitive but funny. Funniest were of the late  Babu Jagjivan Ram's.

The cover of the late Mr. Thackeray's latest book featuring his cartoons

The only Thackeray- who played a big role in public life- I respect deeply is the late Prabodhankar Thackeray ( प्रबोधनकार ठाकरे),  one of the greatest sons of Maharashtra, indeed  India. I wish Maharashtra walked in his footsteps rather than his son's.

Wikipedia states: "Winston Churchill was an accomplished artist and took great pleasure in painting, especially after his resignation as First Lord of the Admiralty in 1915. He found a haven in art to overcome the spells of depression which he suffered throughout his life."

Amartya Sen wrote in Economic & Political Weekly February 16-22, 2008:

“…Winston Churchill’s famous remark that the Bengal famine of 1943 was caused by the tendency of people there to breed like rabbits belongs to this general tradition of blaming the colonial victim. This had a profound effect in crucially delaying famine relief in that disastrous and easily preventable famine. The demands of cultural nationalism merge well with the asymmetry of power and can have quite devastating effects…”

Estimates are that between 1.5 and 4 million people died of starvation, malnutrition and disease in that famine.

Artist: Charles E. Martin, The New Yorker,  6 February 1954

I wish Mr. Churchill did only painting and not politics!

I have yet to see cartoons drawn by others on Mr. Thackeray's departure but they will find it hard to beat Mr. Tailang .

Artist: Sudhir Tailang, The Asian Age, November 18 2012

Mr. Tailang achieves so much in this picture...Mr. Thackeray's first love was a drawing board...so he departs from there and not from his throne...departing paws...not shown in colour here but perhaps red...maybe a slight hesitation before the final leap into darkness...moving...