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."

Saturday, September 20, 2014

एखादा दरबारी छबिना चौघडे-तुताऱ्या वाजवत डौलाने यावा...Kesarbai's Malkauns: Act of Cosmic Boasting


September 16 2014 was 37th Death Anniversary of Kesarbai Kerkar (केसरबाई केरकर).


Philip Ball:
"Music is the most remarkable blend of art and science, logic and emotion, physics and psychology, known to us."
जी ए कुलकर्णी, 'घर', 'पिंगळावेळ', 1977:

"…तिला एकदा तिचे घर  मिळाले की मी सुटलो. मग मोडीत निघालेल्या माझ्या ठोकायंत्राची मला भीती  नाही. केंव्हा का बंद पडेना ते ! मग शेजारी सिगरेटचे एक पूर्ण पाकीट असावे. एखादा दरबारी छबिना चौघडे-तुताऱ्या वाजवत डौलाने यावा, त्याप्रमाणे  वाटणारा मालकंस टेपरेकॉर्डवर तासभर उलगडत असावा ..."


Yuval Noah Harari, author of 'Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind', 2014, in The Guardian podcast:
 "...But if you take an outsider's perspective, a kind of cosmic perspective, what did humans do for the rest of the cosmos, the rest of the planet, then it is a very gloomy conclusion. I don't think we have done anything positive for anybody except ourselves so..."


Maybe we have done something positive for the rest of the cosmos. By sending there the Voyager Golden Records aboard the Voyager 1 and 2 spacecrafts that were launched in 1977.

Kesarbai's is the only Indian voice on them. The title of her song there is Jaat Kahaan Ho (जात कहाँ हो)...Where Are You Going? She seems to be asking Voyager and us.

Voyager-  in August 2014 at a distance of 1.919×1010 km away from earth- may answer that with more accuracy than us, homo sapiens. 

Why did we send Kesarbai and a few others to the stars?

Philip Ball has written a whole book-'The Music Instinct / How Music Works and Why We Can’t Do Without It', 2010- to answer that.

Mr. Ball writes at the start of his book:

"...Fourteen billion miles away from Earth, Johann Sebastian Bach’s music is heading towards new listeners. An alien civilization encountering the Voyager 1 or 2 spacecraft, launched in 1977 and now drifting beyond our solar system, will discover a golden gramophone record on which they can listen to Glenn Gould playing the Prelude and Fugue in C from the second book of The Well-Tempered Clavier. You couldn’t fit much on a long-playing record in 1977, but there was no room for a more extensive record collection – the main mission of the spacecraft was to photograph and study the planets, not to serve as an interstellar mobile music library. All the same, offering extraterrestrials this glimpse of Bach’s masterwork while denying them the rest of it seems almost an act of cruelty. On the other hand, one scientist feared that including Bach’s entire oeuvre might come across as an act of cosmic boasting..."

Sending Kesarbai's Malkauns- as elaborated by S Anand in The Caravan, September 16 2014- too might come across as an act of cosmic boasting.


Raga Lalat and Raga Malkauns

Artist of disc jacket: Unknown to me

Picture courtesy: HMV/ EMI India and  Blog Anthems for the Nation of Luobaniya


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