To perish or to live in pain?
Weather patterns are certainly changing across India. I don't know how they will look in the long run but one senses the big change alright.
The late P L Deshpande (1919-2000) suffered (a kind of) arthritis for a number of years. He of course made fun of it, at least, in public.
In one of the best pieces of humour I have heard, he once said that his joint started acting up even when he heard Marathi song "Nabh Meghani Akramile" (नभ मेघांनी आक्रमिले), sung by Prabhakar Karekar (प्रभाकर कारेकर), from one of the most popular Marathi plays- 'Sangit Saubhadra' (संगीत सौभद्र), 1882 by Annasaheb Kirloskar (अण्णासाहेब किर्लोस्कर).
'Nabh Meghani Akramile' translates as 'the sky is invaded by clouds'.
When I heard the joke first time, I realised what funny head the late Mr. Deshpande carried.
I often remember Pu La for something or the other. I don't own most of his books. I mayn't have read his book for a very long time now but he remains an integral part of my ecosystem.
I remember in one of his TV interviews, in a kind of response to his wife's autobiographical, rather grim, book ('Aahe Manohar Tari' आहे मनोहर तरी), not one of my favorites, he said : "मला उदास-बिदास काही वाटत नाही… " (I don't feel depressed etc.)
It was funny but said with such conviction, I felt it deep inside me and has stayed there since then. I feel he never took himself seriously, an attribute most middle-class Maharashtrians seriously lack. Most of them, especially from the writing/talking community, are full of themselves.
Let me now return to the invasion of clouds and arthritis.
WSJ on October 14 2013 reports:
"The Wolff family of Paramus, N.J., was eyeing the gathering clouds and debating whether to cancel a planned park trip when 6-year-old Leora piped up with an idea: "Let's call Grandma. Her knees always know when it's going to rain!"
Leora's grandmother, Esther Polatsek, says she started being sensitive to the weather in her 20s, when a fracture in her foot would ache whenever a snowstorm approached. Now 66 and plagued by rheumatoid arthritis, Mrs. Polatsek says she suffers flare-ups whenever the weather is about to change..."
I recently bought my favorite book of PLD: "Nasti Uthathev" (नस्ती उठाठेव), first published in 1952. ["tyache vyavachhedak lakshan" (त्याचे व्यवच्छेदक लक्षण), an essay in there, is one of the best pieces of comic writing I have ever read]
The cover is by Vasant Sarwate (वसंत सरवटे). The subject of the picture is 'Majhi Path Dharate" (माझी पाठ धरते)- my back sprains!