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."

Sunday, August 09, 2015

ढेकणासी बाज...How Bedbugs Bed


सदानंद रेगे:
 "म्हटलं
आज गादीला जरा
ऊन खाऊ दे.
गच्चीवर टाकली न टाकली तो
पसाभर ढेकूण
जीव घेऊन
सैरावैरा ढुंगणाला पाय
लावून धूम पळत सुटलेले.
तरी तीनचार पायाखाली आलेच.
त्यांच्या कुळथीच्या रंगाचे
रक्ताळ धूमकेतू
जमिनीवर गोंदणासारखे
उतरत्या सूर्याला साक्षी
ठेवून मी स्वत:शीच पुटपुटलो,
देवा, त्यांच्या आत्म्यांना शांती दे
त्यातला चुकून एखादा असायचा फ्रान्झ काफ्का!"

 
William Cook: "Bedbugs were biting humans long before humans invented beds..."   

Tukaram 1608-1649 (तुकाराम),  quoted at the very top of this blog, sure knew this truth when he said:  "ढेकणासी बाज गड, उतरचढ केवढी" (For a bedbug a bed is like a castle. so much climbing up and down!).


After reading this first time in Dilip Chitre's (दिलीप चित्रे) 'Punha Tukaram' (पुन्हा तुकाराम), 1990, I smiled and  imagined how Tukaram must have observed a bug climbing a leg of a bed in his own house. Those couple of minutes gave birth to, for me, one of the most moving Marathi couplets.

Western literature too is full of them: "...from Horace to Henry Miller. They crop up in the Talmud, in Aristotle and Aristophanes..." (Cook)

Recently I came across Brooke Borel's book 'Infested: How the Bed Bug Infiltrated Our Bedrooms and Took Over the World', 2015 and its review by Marlene Zuk in The New York Times, April 17 2015.

We associate a bed with bedbugs and sex. So what about sex of  bedbugs?

"...When bedbugs mate, the male stabs the female’s body with his penis and deposits his sperm inside, a process “more like a shanking than a romantic coupling.” It’s part of what enables the bugs to reproduce so effectively, and become — welcome or not — one of our most common urban companions." (Zuk)

"...After they’ve feasted on your blood, they like to engage in rough and tumble sex (not with you, fortunately)..." (Cook)

Tukaram did not know this. Had he known, I wonder what he would have composed!



Traumatic insemination

Credit: Richard Naylor, CimexStore.co.uk

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