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."

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Thank the Lord He is Dead, This Son of a Gun...Khushwant Singh...



“Amon deshti kothao khojay

            Pabey no ko toomee,

Shokol desher rani shejey,

            Ammar jonmo bhoomee”

 India was unique also because Khushwant Singh lived there.

Mr. Singh has appeared on this blog many times earlier and he will continue to do so. I have almost all his books. I have liked him since when I was a kid.

I still remember reading Dhiren Bhagat's obituary of him  for "Sunday Observer" in 1980's. It obviously came almost three decades too soon. Mr. Bhagat, one of my favourite columnists,  himself died in 1988. 


Artist: Mario de Miranda, The Illustrated Weekly of India


The Times of India interviewed him in November 2011. 


How are you spending your days currently


   By not meeting anyone. In fact, I’m happiest when left alone. I have never ever felt lonely...


...Yet, your penchant for contemporary political commentary hasn’t gone – broad comments on what’s happening in the country today? 


    We have an honest and able prime minister but there is rampant corruption…I don’t believe the likes of Anna Hazare can do a thing about this corruption. Only Mahatma Gandhi would have been able to arouse mass consciousness to halt this corruption spreading all around. Meanwhile, on the other side, it’s so obvious that chief minister Narendra Modi is targeting officers in Gujarat who dared to bare the truth...


...Your age is always a matter of public comment; do you privately think about death?


    Yes. I think of death very often. I think of all my friends gone and wonder where they are…I wonder why we don’t discuss death in our homes. It’s one of those realities no one can escape…I also believe in the Jain philosophy that death ought to be celebrated. Years ago, I’d sit at the cremation grounds. That had a certain effect on me, worked as therapy. And years ago, i’d written my own epitaph: ‘Here lies one who spared neither man or God/ Waste not your tears on him, he was a sod/ Writing nasty things he regarded as great fun/ Thank the Lord he is dead, this son of a gun.’

...Clearly, you have few regrets; is there anything you wish you could have done differently? 


    I should have started my writing career much earlier – I wasted several years pursuing the legal profession. The other regret is not to have written more against religious fundamentalists hell-bent on causing divides between communities of this land. They have to be dealt with severely. My worry is over the rise of right-wing fascist parties in the country. We have to save our country from these destructive forces.
 

1 comment:

mannab said...

Like a number of obituaries in last 2 days, your post is readable. Thanks.
Mangesh Nabar