दुर्गा भागवत :
"…देशबंधू दासांची आणखी एक गंमत सांगते. त्यांनी 'सागरसंगीत' म्हणून समुद्रावर कविता लिहिल्या आहेत. समुद्रावर चाळीस कविता लिहिणारा हा जगातला एकुलता एकच माणूस. त्या कवितांबद्दल साने गुरुजींनी इतक सुंदर, इतक सुंदर लिहिलंय, की ते वाचल्यावर मला बंगाली भाषा शिकायचा मोह झाला. मी शिकले बंगाली आणि मूळ बंगालीतून 'सागरसंगीत'च मराठी भाषांतर केल…"
("ऐसपैस गप्पा: दुर्गाबाईंशी", लेखक : प्रतिभा रानडे, पृष्ठ: 59, 1998)
"...I tell you another interesting thing about Deshbandhu Das. He has written poems- called 'Sagarsangit'- on sea. He is the only man in the world to write forty poems on sea. Sane-guruji has written so beautifully, so beautifully about them that after reading it I was tempted to learn Bengali. I learnt Bengali and translated 'Sagarsangit' from the original Bengali into Marathi..."
("Aispais Gappa: Durgabainshi" by Pratibha Ranade )]
"...As a small boy I once just loved the sea; I then came to fear it and revere it; and for a brief few months and years—after my small navigational triumph in the Indian Ocean doldrums—I thought I had come to know it. But that was all fantasy—for as the small creature of the Sargasso so adroitly reminds us—we know less about the seas today than we know about the surfaces of Mars, or of the moon. The water covers all in a shroud of mystery. And love the oceans though we might and fear them though we should, to know their waters truly will simply not be possible until, as Robert Burns put it so long ago, “the seas gang dry, my dear, /and the rocks melt wi’ the sun.”"
"There are certain things—as a spider, a ghost,
The income tax, gout, an umbrella for three—
That I hate, but the thing that I hate the most
Is a thing they call the sea."
I lived first almost 21 years of life in Miraj. Our favourite vacation destination was Kolhapur.
As the crow flies, both places are not too far from the Arabian sea.
My mother was born in Mahad, Konkan. She had many stories to tell from life there, some imaginary, many real. None had sea in it.
India has a coastline of 7,517 km.
And yet, sea hardly figured in my life or fantasies. I had no (and still don't have any) emotional connection with an ocean in contrast to even a neighbourhood hillock.
I wonder why.
The shloka from Ramayana I have quoted at the top becomes most moving because of the presence of ocean in it. If it were river or any other water-body, the impact would be far less.
I have still not fully read Ernest Hemingway's "The Old Man and the Sea", 1952. (My father used to teach this book to college students.)
I have also not fully read probably one of the greatest novels in English language Herman Melville's "Moby-Dick", 1851.
Therefore, it was interesting to read the following.
"… मराठी साहित्यात समुद्राच वास्तव किती सातत्याने दुर्लक्षित केलं आहे, हे माझ्या विवेचनाच सार होतं… आपण वास्तवाच्या -वाङमयीन सामग्रीच्या- केवढ्या मोठ्या भांडाराला मुकतो आहोत, हे माझ्या लेखात निर्देशित केलं आहे...मराठी वाङमयातील समुद्राची अनुपस्थिती मराठी समाजाच्या संरचनेशी कशी निगडीत आहे, हे माझ्या लेखात स्पष्ट केलेलं आहे."
("वाङमयीन संस्कृती व सामाजिक वास्तव", 2011, पृष्ठ 66-67)
"....How consistently Marathi literature has ignored the reality of sea: that was the summary of my interpretation...the huge extent of reality - literary content- we have lost has been pointed in my article. The absence of sea in Marathi literature is linked to the structure of Marathi society has been clarified in my article."
("Vangmayin Sanskruti va samajik vastav")]
Courtesy: Lapham's Quarterly Summer 2013 Issue
p.s written on September 1 2013:
Arun Kolatkar (अरुण कोलटकर):
"where the sea jostles
against the wall
vacuous sailboats snuggle
tall and gawky
their masts at variance
their names appearing
('the boat ride')
p.s. I am writing the following on September 11 2013.
Those who want to read in depth on this subject, please read Vilas Sarang's essay titled "कुंपणा मधला समुद्र" (kumpanamadhala samudra), now part of his book "मॅनहोलमधला माणूस", 2008 (manhol madhala manoos).
I read it first time on the rainy night of Sept 10 2013.