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."

Friday, December 28, 2012

Goodbye, Mr. Tata...Btw- I Have Taken the Blue Pill!

The Economist (October 26 2006):

"In the early 1900s, when Britain ruled India, the chairman of the colony's Railway Board, Sir Frederick Upcott, was so sceptical about Tata, then a young steel company, that he declared he would “eat every pound of steel rail” that it could produce to Britain's exacting specifications. His subsequent indigestion is not recorded, even though Tata was producing hundreds of tonnes a year by 1916."


A Case for Opium Dens: Indian industry got its first tranche of capital accumulation in the 19th century when the Tatas joined hands with the Sassoons and the British to force opium onto the Chinese. The addicts in China in that period took to opium to drown their unpleasant reality in momentary dreams, while knowing in moments of cold assessment that pipe dreams could never be realised in real life. It was only when Mao Zedong came to power in 1949 that the Chinese government banned opium dens, and people accepted their closure in the expectation that they might have a chance of achieving some of their hopes..."
Arundhati Roy:
"...The Tatas, for example, run more than 100 companies in 80 countries. They are one of India’s oldest and largest private sector power companies. They own mines, gas fields, steel plants, telephone, cable TV and broadband networks, and run whole townships. They manufacture cars and trucks, own the Taj Hotel chain, Jaguar, Land Rover, Daewoo, Tetley Tea, a publishing company, a chain of bookstores, a major brand of iodised salt and the cosmetics giant Lakme. Their advertising tagline could easily be: You Can’t Live Without Us.
According to the rules of the Gush-Up Gospel, the more you have, the more you can have..."
Mr. Ratan Tata retires this month. I have nothing to say on the man. Particularly after "Radia tapes controversy". 

I felt so disappointed. I have worked in corporates for many years and I know real life is messy and real people are complicated. But that messy and that complicated? Couldn't Tata's be different?


Siddharth Varadarajan has said about the controversy (The Hindu, November 29 2010):
 
"...In the science fiction film, “The Matrix”, Morpheus tells Neo, “You're here because you know there's something wrong with the world.” The Matrix, he says, is the world that has been pulled over everyone's eyes to blind them from the truth that they are slaves. He offers Neo the choice of a blue or red pill. “You take the blue pill and the story ends. You wake in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill ... and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.”

The Nira Radia audio archive loaded on to the Internet by Open and Outlook magazines last week is the red pill of our time. It reveals the source codes, networks, routers, viruses and malware that make up the matrix of the Indian State. The transmission of information, also known as “news”, between different nodes is vital for the system to work efficiently. The news is also the medium for reconciling conflicts between different sectors of the establishment. If you hear the recordings, you begin to understand the truth about the Wonderland that is India. No wonder there are many amongst us who would rather swallow the blue pill. For once you go in, the only way out is to keep digging. And yes, the rabbit-hole runs deep...

...We also hear in the tapes an iconic businessman, Ratan Tata, who today makes sanctimonious statements about crony capitalism and the danger of India becoming a banana republic, lobbying through his PR agent, Ms Radia, for A. Raja to be given the Telecom portfolio..."



Artist: William Steig, The New Yorker, 2 July 1960

"I didn't get where I am by begging for raises, Aniruddha, I lobbied for what I wanted." 

Look at the cartoon, as old as me, above. There  is not much to it except two things- catchy caption and, more importantly, the depiction of the boss. I can just go on looking at him for all day long. That is the hallmark of a great cartoonist like the late Mr. Steig (1907-2003)- she creates the lasting impact out of thin air by her art.