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."

Friday, July 03, 2015

The Satavahanas and Marilyn Monroe: The Body Is Meant To Be Seen


"...'A safflower!' they shouted,
Pointing to the nail-mark
On her breast, and laughed
When she tried to brush it." 145

('The Absent Traveller: Prakrit Love Poetry from the Gathasaptasati of Satavahana Hala' by Arvind Krishna Mehrotra)
 
"…स्तन हे मातृत्वाचे प्रतीक असल्यामुळे त्यांच्या विवस्त्र प्रदर्शनात शिष्टाचाराचा भंग होत नाही असा प्राचीन शिल्पकारांचा संकेत होता (Altekar: Dress and Ornaments of Hindu Women : Journal of the Benares Hindu University: Vol II: No 3: p 408)..."

('हाल सातवाहनाची  गाथा सप्तशती' संपादक: स आ जोगळेकर, 1956)

डॉ. मधुकर केशव ढवळीकर:
 "…उच्चकुलीन स्त्रिया बहुधा उत्तरीय वापरत, परंतु सर्वसाधारण स्त्रियांचा शरीराचा वरचा भाग अनावृत्त असे…"
(सातवाहनकालातील संपन्न गृहपती, 'महाराष्ट्राची कुळकथा', 2011)

दुर्गा  भागवत, 'वनकथा ', निसर्गोत्सव , 1996:
 "… मग  मी मुलांना  दिलेला  खाऊ  त्यांनी  खाल्ला . मग बायका जमा झाल्या . साऱ्यांची कमरेपोतरची  शरीरे अनावृत्त . पण ती अनावृत्त  स्तनमंडळे  खरेच फार सुरेख होती . लहानसर पण अतिशय बांधेसूद . एकीने मला विचारले, "तुम्ही चोळी कशाला घालता?" हा प्रश्नच अनपेक्षित होता . मी गोंधळले . मग त्या साऱ्या जणी हसल्या . त्यातील एक प्रौढा  माझ्या जवळ आली . निःसंकोच पणे  माझ्या छातीवरून हात फिरवीत ती म्हणाली, "पाहा, असं  होतं . आमची छाती कशी घट्ट आहे नि हिची  पाहा कशी कापसासारखी!" मग ती मला म्हणाली , "बघ बाई , तुमची सीता  पण वनात  आली. तिनं आमच्यासारखी  सुरेख 'दुध' (स्तन ) हवी होती ना? चोळी टाकली. तिची वक्षःस्थळं भरदार झाली. आवडली आमच्या रावणाला. पळवली तिला. मग दुसरी म्हणाली , "खरं च  की ते, चोळी घातली  की छाती खचते …"
  
For me year 2015 has been that of Gaha Sattasai- I am reading it for the first time in both Marathi and English- and hence of Satavahanas.


Fresco of woman with flower offerings, Sigiriya, Sri Lanka, circa 5 CE

I saw the following image on Facebook in February 2015 and I felt how Ms. Monroe would have enjoyed her stay when the Satavahanas ruled.

Imagine her in the fresco above!



picture courtesy: FB page dedicated to Ms. Monroe

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