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."

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Waits for Us All On a City Road With an IC Engine Beside HIm

"It does not take new accident data from the National Crime Records Bureau to confirm that India’s roads, bursting at the seams with about 141 million motorised vehicles in 2012, are deadly. The Centre has been ignoring the shameful toll of death and disability for years, responding only with token measures. State governments mostly limit themselves to granting meagre compensation to the families of victims, instead of engaging in serious reform. That 139,091 lives were lost on the roads last year seems to be an insignificant statistic, given the extraordinary indifference among policymakers to a worsening public health disaster. There is even less attention paid to the burden of disability caused annually by crash injuries. Studies show that figure could be 15 to 20 times the number of deaths..."
 James Graham Ballard:

“I believe in my own obsessions, in the beauty of the car crash, in the peace of the submerged forest, in the excitements of the deserted holiday beach, in the elegance of automobile graveyards, in the mystery of multi-storey car parks, in the poetry of abandoned hotels.'' 

Every time I drive in Pune or hear about a crash, I think of Ballard's novel 'Crash', 1972 and George Miller's movie  'Mad Max 2', 1981.

If my 19th century ancestors, I often think, who never saw 20th century,  were to return today, they would be surprised most not by mobile phones, not by television /radio, not by inhouse plumbing and electricity, not by antibiotics, not by aeroplanes, not by computers but how difficult it has now become  for a pedestrian to walk on a road in Pune even between 6:30 AM to 10 PM.

This is what happened to a family, related to us from my my wife's side, because of an automobile accident: A young man having a pregnant wife meets with an accident near Chembur, Mumbai. He is riding  a motor bike. He does not die. He goes into coma.  He wakes up from coma but never fully recovers. His parents sell off almost all their assets treating him and go broke. His sister shelters them in another city. His wife and kid leave him. His parents die. Bedridden he, looked after by his sister and her family, survives.

I haven't read or heard a more tragic middle-class tale than this.  

G A Kulkarni's ( जी ए कुलकर्णी) stories and letters have angry gods,  old abandoned water-wells, shortage of food,  abject poverty, diseases, lakes covered with moss, black magic, lightnings but no crashing automobiles. Lucky him! And us!!

J G Ballard says about his creation:  "Crash is less a hymn to death than an attempt to appease death, to buy off the executioner who waits for us all in a quiet garden nearby, like [Francis] Bacon's headless figure in his herringbone jacket, who sits patiently at a table with a machine gun beside him."
For Indians like me, he waits impatiently for us all on a chaotic, noisy, familiar city road with an IC engine beside him.

Artist: Unknown to me