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.”

H. P. Lovecraft: "What a man does for pay is of little significance. What he is, as a sensitive instrument responsive to the world's beauty, is everything!"

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."

Monday, March 03, 2014

I am Forlorn and Destitute, and Misery is My Ultimate Lot

Today March 3 2014 is 307th Death Anniversary of Emperor Aurangzeb who ruled most of India/ South Asia from 1658-1707, a record that may never be broken.

World's leading historian John Darwin says:

"...Aurangzeb’s reign came to be seen by later historians as the climax of the Mughal era, and his death as the signal for a new dark age of imperial collapse, from which India was rescued by British intervention after 1765..."

('After Tamerlane / The Global History of Empire since 1405', 2007)


Emperor Aurangzeb in front of soldiers and an elephant, 1672 


By:  Olfert Dapper (c 1635-1689), A Dutchman who never travelled outside the Netherlands!

Courtesy: Wellcome Library, London  (Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 2.0, see http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

 John Keay, 'India A History', 2000/2010

"...In 1705 Aurangzeb fell seriously ill. A frail and shrouded spectre dressed ‘all over white’, as a visitor put it, with turban and beard of the same ghostly pallor, he was installed in a palanquin and carefully carried back to Ahmadnagar. Even then he was a long time dying. Embittered and isolated, he prayed hard, bemoaned the state of affairs, and found fault with his officials; he had already despaired of most of his progeny. As for himself, ‘I am,’ he wrote, ‘forlorn and destitute, and misery is my ultimate lot.’ The misery ended in 1707, his ninetieth year. His funeral expenses were supposedly met from the sale of the Qurans he had copied and the caps he had stitched. True to his wishes, he was buried not beneath a stylish mountain of marble and sandstone at the heart of the empire but in a simple grave beside a village shrine dear to the Muslims of the Deccan. At Khuldabad, not far from Aurangabad, a neat little mosque now flanks the small courtyard in which stands the least pretentious of all the Mughal tombs. There is barely room for a vanload of pilgrims. And instead of a great white dome, a dainty but determined tree provides the only canopy..."


Painted seal of Mughal Emperor Awrangzib ibn Shah Djahan I, Abul Muzzaffar Muhammad Alamgir surrounded by the names of his predecessors c. 1669

Courtesy: Wellcome Library, London  (Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 2.0, see http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ )

 

1 comment:

mannab said...

I have visited the tomb of Aurangzeb which is very simple and does not have any roof or canopy. It is as per his wishes.
Mangesh Nabar