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."

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

वृषण नव्हे शेपटी: अतिसभ्यतेची कास...Panchatantra's Wedge-Pulling Monkey

Today, March 3 2015, my son Jaydutt turns 21...a big day for him, perhaps but certainly for his mother Anju and me...We encouraged him to read / watch/ listen to lots of classics, we never taught him many so-called morals and tried to show him two sides of most problems...as for profanity, he could not help listening to it because of his father...I was brought up in Miraj where a tail was never just a fucking tail! 

"...शिव्या हा समाजाचा एक अपरिहार्य भाग आहे. शिव्यांना अनैतिक ठरवायचे झाले तर अगदी शेक्सपीअरपासूनचे निम्मेअधिक साहित्य हद्दपार करावे लागेल. सेन्सॉर बोर्डाने चित्रपटांतील शिव्यांवर बंदी घालणे हे मूर्ख मध्यमवर्गीय धर्मनिष्ठतेचे लक्षण असल्याची टीका ज्येष्ठ नाटककार-दिग्दर्शक आणि अभिनेते गिरीश कर्नाड यांनी रविवारी केली..." (लोकसत्ता, February 23 2015)

"मराठी माणसांनी केलेल्या लेखनामुळे कन्नड साहित्य समृद्ध झाले. त्याची परिणती ज्ञानपीठ पुरस्कारविजेत्यांच्या यादीमध्ये दिसते. तर, १९४८ मध्ये झालेल्या गांधी हत्येनंतर अतिसभ्यतेची कास धरल्यानेच मराठी साहित्याने आपला बाज हरवला, असे मत ज्येष्ठ साहित्यिक आणि रंगकर्मी गिरीश कर्नाड यांनी सोमवारी व्यक्त केले." (लोकसत्ता, November 12 2013)

I must have read Panchatantra in Marathi dozes of times during my childhood. Even today I remember every story.

Recently I bought "संपूर्ण पंचतंत्र: प्रामाणिक मराठी भाषांतर" (sampoorna panchatantra: pramanik marathi bhashantar), 1977 by ह. अ. भावे (H. A. Bhave).

I started thumbing through it and came across one of my favorite stories:  'The Wedge-Pulling Monkey', in Marathi 'पाचर उपटणारे माकड'.

The story has this:"...There the monkeys began their playful frolics upon tree-top, lofty roof, and woodpile. Then one of them, whose doom was near, thoughtlessly bestrode the log, thinking: "Who stuck a wedge in this queer place?" So he seized it with both hands and started  to work it loose. Now what happened when the wedge gave at the spot where his private parts entered the cleft, that, sir, you know without being told..."

(from the translation dated 1925 by Arthur W. Ryder)

Now I remembered clearly that the Marathi translation we had stated that the monkey's tail- not penis- was caught in the cleft.

Therefore, I looked up the same story in Bhave's book. It stated:

"....खांबातून पाचर निसटली व त्याचे वृषण फटीत अडकले!…" 

Thank goodness, Bhave's translation indeed is honest (प्रामाणिक) and NOT sanitized!


Artist: Anant Salkar (अनंत सालकर)

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