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, January 11, 2013

विष्णु चिंचाळकरना उमजलेले कुमार गंधर्व Kumar Gandharva as Understood by Vishnu Chinchalkar


Tomorrow January 12 2013 is 21st death anniversary of Pandit Kumar Gandharva (ಶಿವಪುತ್ರಪ್ಪ ಸಿದ್ಧರಾಮಯ್ಯ ಕಂಕಾಳಿಮಠ).

Wikipedia informs: 

"The Voyager Golden Records are phonograph records which were included aboard both Voyager spacecraft, which were launched in 1977. They contain sounds and images selected to portray the diversity of life and culture on Earth, and are intended for any intelligent extraterrestrial life form, or for future humans, who may find them."

If I had a vote, the late Kumar Gandharva's voice would be there. 


Lawewnce Krauss speculates if indeed ET life will ever find and decode them:
"I am glad they will be found to contain visual images of this beautiful blue planet as it once was, along with music, to demonstrate that intelligent beings once lived on Earth. It will also deliver simple greetings in hundreds of dialects from our species—perhaps giving the impression that we knew we were lucky to exist for a brief time on this cosmic speck, instead of suffering under the solipsistic notion that we somehow reigned supreme in a universe created for us."
Humility expressed in the quote above too would go well with Kumar's art.
 I understand almost nothing of music but he remains the greatest male singer and one of the greatest 20th century artists for me. I understand a little bit about Kabir and Bal Gandharva (बालगंधर्व) because of his music.

There is an excellent page on Panditji on Facebook. You may visit it here.

Courtesy that page, I was introduced to a very good artist Vishnu Chinchalkar (विष्णु  चिंचाळकर) 1917-2000.

Look at his following two pictures featuring Kumar.


Photo 




line drawing of Pandit Kumar Gandharva

These pictures are stunning in simplicity and yet convey Kumar's mien in all its majesty.

I have been very lucky. Some time during 1985-1987,  my friend Jayant Inamdar (जयंत इनामदार) and I attended at Karnataka Sangha, Matunga, Mumbai (कर्नाटक संघ, माटुंगा) lecture-cum-demonstration programme of Panditji, everyday evening, for almost a week. 

I remember Marathi poet Vasant Bapat (वसंत बापट) interviewing him. I still recall the late Mr. Bapat saying: I am here like a calf pushing his mother so that she lactates more! 

How true! No one in that audience- the late Gangadhar Gadgil (गंगाधर गाडगीळ) and his wife came almost everyday- could have really interviewed Kumar.  He transcended words every time he sang. He often asked (chided?)  his accompanists to play softly.

I also remember Kumar say that a lot of singers sing 'Miyan Ki Malhar' because they can's sing 'Malhar'! He also compared  raga to a painting where a singer works like a painter. 


I don't think I will ever attend a better live program than that in my life. And it was completely free. We had to just show up.