मेघदूत: "नीचैर्गच्छत्युपरि च दशा चक्रनेमिक्रमेण"

समर्थ शिष्या अक्का : "स्वामीच्या कृपाप्रसादे हे सर्व नश्वर आहे असे समजले. पण या नश्वरात तमाशा बहुत आहे."

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.”

Friedrich Nietzsche: “Everybody wants the same, everybody is the same: whoever feels different goes voluntarily into a madhouse.”

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);...”

सदानंद रेगे:
"... पण तुकारामाची गाथा ज्या धुंदीनं आजपर्यंत वाचली जात होती ती धुंदी माझ्याकडे नाहीय. ती मला येऊच शकत नाही याचं कारण स्वभावतःच मी नास्तिक आहे."
".. त्यामुळं आपण त्या दारिद्र्याच्या अनुभवापलीकडे जाऊच शकत नाही. तुम्ही जर अलीकडची सगळी पुस्तके पाहिलीत...तर त्यांच्यामध्ये त्याच्याखेरीज दुसरं काही नाहीच आहे. म्हणजे माणसांच्या नात्यानात्यांतील जी सूक्ष्मता आहे ती क्वचित चितारलेली तुम्हाला दिसेल. कारण हा जो अनुभव आहे... आपले जे अनुभव आहेत ते ढोबळ प्रकारचे आहेत....."

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, May 19, 2013

Balraj Sahni @100...तुझ पे दिल कुर्बान

Soumitra Chatterjee:

"One person who really inspired me was Balraj Sahani. I think he is the best cinema actor that India has ever seen. He could carry on a big role, a hero's role with the nuances of a character actor."

Peter Aspden:

"The Italian neorealist classic, Vittorio De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves (1948) was subtly retitled The Bicycle Thief in the US – “perhaps it was just an American idea that the man in a film has to be its hero,” says (David) Thomson. Producer David Selznick’s reaction to the film was a wish to cast Cary Grant in the lead role. The Americans missed the wider implications of De Sica’s heart-wrenching story, adds Thomson, and failed to acknowledge how the original title’s plural focused attention on systemic failure rather than individual culpability: “And so the country, horrified at the thought of Communist influence, suppressed the gently Marxist interpretation of the title.”..."

(Financial Times, October 19 2012)


"...Time and again, Bogart was cast as a man of principle, and his finest qualities are on display in “Tough Without a Gun”: his decency and courage in championing Fatty Arbuckle, Peter Lorre, Joan Bennett and Gene Tierney when they were in dire straits and out of favor; his generosity to charities; his integrity in a town where promises were forgotten, not kept...Bogart’s appeal was and remains completely adult — so adult that it’s hard to believe he was ever young. If men who take responsibility are hard to come by in films these days, it’s because they’re hard to come by, period, in an era when being a kid for life is the ultimate achievement, and “adult” as it pertains to film is just a euphemism for pornography."

On May 1 2013, Balraj Sahni would have turned 100.

For me, he remains the greatest Indian actor I have seen and one of the best in the world. Multiple posts on this blog refer to him. (By the way he occasionally reminds me of Humphrey Bogart. Both died before they turned 60.)

How come he never worked with Satyajit Ray?

Sandip Ray, Mr. Ray's son:

"...In fact, he (Balraj Sahni) was one of the favourite actors of the Ray family and my father (Satyajit Ray) really wanted to have him act in his movie. He was toying with the idea of making Rajsingha (a historical novel by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay) in the 1960s with Balraj Sahni, but it’s a pity that it kind of fizzled out. He was a real admirer of Balrajji and the feeling was mutual..."

They say he did NOT win a single award. Shame on such awards and award givers! But then Auden, Borges, Conrad, Joyce, Kafka, Nabokov, Proust, Tolstoy, Twain, Ibsen, Chekhov, Zola never won literature Nobel! Balraj Sahni was such a name the field of acting.

Balraj Sahni and Ratan Kumar in Bimal Roy's 'Do Bigha Zamin', 1953

courtesy: Shemaroo

Shyam Benegal on DBZ:

"In the last 100 years, Indian cinema has seen several marvelous films. It is very difficult to choose one over the other another — should I choose from recent films or go back into the past? And also, why am I choosing one over the other? But if there is one film which simply has to be here, it is Do Bigha Zamin. Here, Bimal Roy took the camera out of the studio and to the streets and fields, shooting on location. Before this you didn’t quite get to see the real world. It was mainly make-believe, extraordinarily done but created in a particular place. Bimal Roy introduced realism with this movie. He showed that you didn’t need to follow the same conventions. And Balraj Sahni, with his exceptional performance, did the rest."

 Balraj Sahni in Hrishikesh Mukherjee's 'Anuradha', 1960

courtesy: Shemaroo

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