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.”

Shel Silverstein : “Talked my head off Worked my tail off Cried my eyes out Walked my feet off Sang my heart out So you see, There’s really not much left of me.” ~

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."

Saturday, December 14, 2013

As I Prepare to Buy AAP Brand of Tooth-powder in 2014...

Today December 14 2013 is 89th Birth Anniversary of Raj Kapoor (1924 - 1988)


Lao Tzu (6th century BCE):

"...The more laws and restrictions there are,
The poorer people become.
The sharper men's weapons,
The more trouble in the land.
The more ingenious and clever men are,
The more strange things happen.
The more rules and regulations,
The more thieves and robbers..."


Thomas Paine (1737- 1809):

"...Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worse state an intolerable one;..."

Alexander Herzen (1812-1870):

"...There are periods when man is free in a common cause. Then the activity towards which every energetic nature strives, coincides with the aspirations of the society in which he lives. At such times—which are rare enough— everything flings itself into the whirlpool of events, in it finds life, joy, suffering and death..." 

Peter Marshall (1946 - ), "Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism", 1992/ 2008 :

"...Anarchism remains not only an ultimate ideal, but increasingly a practical possibility. If we are to survive nuclear annihilation and ecological disaster, if we can steer between the Scylla of roaring capitalism and the Charybdis of authoritarian socialism, then we may reach the land where a free society of relative abundance exists in harmony with nature, where the claims of the free individual are reconciled with general solidarity. Even if we cannot reach it in our lifetimes, we can at least enjoy the exhilaration of the journey, sailing our ship together towards the beckoning horizon without fettering slaves in the hold or shooting the albatross on the way."

Our father encouraged us to watch all Raj Kapoor films. I liked some and found others boring. But I truly love three of them:

1. Jagte Raho (1956)

2. Shree 420 (1955)

3. Mera Naam Joker (1970)

For me, Amit Maitra and Sombhu Mitra's  'Jagte Raho' is the greatest Indian film ever made.  It remains highly underrated. I keep watching it and discovering new 'angles' I had not seen earlier. 

'Mera Naam Joker' is like a Shakespearean tragedy. But it goes little awry in the last third of the film when Padmini arrives on the scene.

As I watched the aftermath of Delhi assembly elections on TV  in December 2013, I remembered more and more of 'Shree 420'.

Whenever Mr. Arvind Kejriwal spoke I kept thinking about Raj Kapoor's speeches from the film...What innocence...What hope!


courtesy: Shemaroo and legal owner of copyright to the film

First, I remembered the scene where Mr. Kapoor tries to sell his brand of tooth powder and almost gets away with it. I would never get angry with RK for his attempt to con the crowd because I always prefer him to Nemo.


Nemo (on right) and his toothless crony 

 courtesy: Shemaroo and legal owner of copyright to the film

Similarly I have millions of questions for  AAP but I am likely to vote for it next time around - the way I would have voted in favour of Janata party in 1977 had I been eligible to vote then- because I prefer RK's likely anarchy to Nemo's regime.

I hope Mr. Kejriwal also makes the speech like the one RK makes towards the end of the film when he reminds people that you can't build a house for Rs. 100.


courtesy: Shemaroo and legal owner of copyright to the film 

"Delhiites, They all are Shree 420 alright but you have to pay a reasonable price for a unit of electric power and a kg of onions."

No matter what, I know the life of a common man over the ages has always been like that of RK's character in 'Jagte Raho' but with a new hope in my heart,  I am ready to try AAP brand of tooth powder in 2014 because I am just fed up of Nemo and his toothless crony.

2 comments:

Sameer Kamble said...

Khupach Chhan...can I share this article on FB?

Sameer Kamble

Aniruddha G. Kulkarni said...

Thanks Sameer Kamble.

Please go ahead and share it on FB.

best,