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."

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Which IPL Team Soliyas Mendis Plays For? He Can't Play in Chennai! He Can't Draw in Ajanta!

Mark Twain:

‎"So much blood has been shed by the Church because of an omission from the Gospel: 'Ye shall be indifferent as to what your neighbor's religion is.' Not merely tolerant of it, but indifferent to it. Divinity is claimed for many religions; but no religion is great enough or divine enough to add that new law to its code."


Oren Harman:

"Aristotle was a cynic. Sure, the Bible exhorts to “Love thy neighbor as thyself,” but he knew better. “The friendly feelings that we bear for another,” instructed his Ethics, “have arisen from the friendly feelings that we bear for ourselves.”"




"In March 1954, the Union Cabinet met and decided to unilaterally define the border of India with China. The colour wash was replaced by a hard line, and the Survey of India issued a new map, which depicts the borders as we know them today. All the old maps were withdrawn and the depiction of Indian boundaries in the old way became illegal. Indeed, if you seek out the White Paper on Indian States of 1948 and 1950 in the Parliament library, you will find that the maps have been removed because they too showed the border as being “undefined” in the Central and Western sectors.
What was the government up to? Did it seriously think it could get away with such a sleight of hand? Or was there a design that will become apparent when the papers of the period are declassified? Not surprisingly, the other party, the People’s Republic of China, was not amused and, in any case, there are enough copies of the old documents and maps across the world today to bring out the uncomfortable truth that the boundaries of India in these regions were unilaterally defined by the Government of India, rather than through negotiation and discussions with China."


Year 2013 has been characterized by a lot of negative news flow on Sri Lanka in Indian media. And on China and on Pakistan...Marathi media, particularly on China-Pakistan, have become even more bellicose than their Hindi/English counterparts..."India has been always been peaceful but should not be taken for granted etc"...


John Keay:

"...The classic expansion of Chola power began anew with the accession of Rajaraja I in 985. Campaigns in the south brought renewed success against the Pandyas and their ‘haughty’ Chera allies in Kerala, both of which kingdoms were now claimed as Chola feudatories. These triumphs were followed, or accompanied, by a successful invasion of Buddhist Sri Lanka in which Anuradhapura, the ancient capital, was sacked and its stupas plundered with a rapacity worthy of the great Mahmud...When, therefore, Rajendra I succeeded Rajaraja and assumed the reins of power in 1014, his priority was obvious. Sri Lanka was promptly reinvaded and more treasures and priceless regalia seized; prising open even relic chambers, says a Sri Lankan chronicle, ‘like blood-sucking yakkhas they took all the treasures of Lanka for themselves’..."

('INDIA A HISTORY: From the Earliest Civilisations to the Boom of the Twenty-First Century', 2000/ 2010)


I was stunned seeing pictures of Buddhist art of Sri Lanka in Frontline dated April 19 2013. I think some of the art gives Ajanta run for its money.


Apsaras, Mural, Sigiriya, c. 5th century.

Artist: Unknown

Photo Artist: Benoy K. Behl

And I didn't even know that such art existed...I have often wondered: Why do I know so little about my neighbourhood while I seem to know 'so much' about a country thousands of miles away? Have I really achieved freedom?



Sanghamitra brings the holy Bodhi Tree to Sri Lanka

Artist: Soliyas MendisMural, Kelaniya Vihara, early 20th century. 

Photo artist: Benoy K. Behl
 
"The painter Soliyas Mendis travelled to India in the end of the 19th century to study the paintings of Ajanta. When he returned to Sri Lanka, he created a new style of art, which has its roots in the gentle expressions and exquisite grace of the Ajanta paintings. His work represents a valuable link and continuation of the ancient style of Buddhist paintings. The paintings also display a close affinity to the style of the Sigiriya paintings and are distinctly Sri Lankan."