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."

Monday, July 21, 2014

उत्तमे ढमढमे पादे सामुराई...The Right Honourable Lord Lytton or Decadent Wajid Ali Shah?

It has hardly rained in Pune since June 2014. They say El Niño. There is nothing new about  El Niño...

Munshi Premchand's story 'Shatranj ke khiladi' is full of condemnation for Lucknow’s degeneracy.

 from Satyajit Ray's 'Shatranj Ke Khilari', 1977

courtesy: the current holder of the copyright of the feature

Satyajit Ray's attitude is more ambivalent: "I was portraying two negative forces, feudalism and colonialism. You had to condemn both Wajid (1822-1887) and Dalhousie."

What all did colonialism bring to India?

Mike Davis has some answers in his "Late Victorian Holocausts: El Niño Famines and the Making of the Third World", 2001.

"...The central government under the leadership of Queen Victoria’s favorite poet, Lord Lytton ( Viceroy of India between 1876 and 1880), vehemently opposed efforts by Buckingham and some of his district officers to stockpile grain or otherwise interfere with market forces. All through the autumn of 1876, while the vital kharif crop was withering in the fields of southern India, Lytton had been absorbed in organizing the immense Imperial Assemblage in Delhi to proclaim Victoria Empress of India (Kaiser-i-Hind). As The Times’s special correspondent described it, “The Viceroy seemed to have made the tales of Arabian fiction true … nothing was too rich, nothing too costly.” “Lytton put on a spectacle,” adds a biographer of Lord Salisbury (the secretary of state for India), “which achieved the two criteria Salisbury had set him six months earlier, of being ‘gaudy enough to impress the orientals’ … and furthermore a pageant which hid ‘the nakedness of the sword on which we really rely.’ ” Its “climacteric ceremonial” included a week-long feast for 68,000 officials, satraps and maharajas: the most colossal and expensive meal in world history. An English journalist later estimated that 100,000 of the Queen-Empress’s subjects starved to death in Madras and Mysore in the course of Lytton’s spectacular durbar. Indians in future generations justifiably would remember him as their Nero..."

Remember, Maharashtra lost  8.2 million (India 12.2–29.3 million) people during the famine of 1876-1879. (disclaimer: death toll estimates vary but are mind numbing in any case)

p.s Where can I read Mahatma Phule's (महात्मा फुले) condemnation of the British Raj for its handling of the  "The Great Famine of 1876–78"? I am sure he criticized it? Didn't he?

....And how I wish Japan stuck to 'such' wars instead of the real wars they waged in 20th century.

Japanese 'fart battle' scrolls date from the Edo period (1603–1868) 

Artist: Unknown to me