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, November 10, 2015

पंडितराव खाडीलकर...My Toy Soldier Day is Today...Diwali

Diwali is my Toy Soldier day.

Panditrao Khadilkar (पंडितराव खाडीलकर), a lifelong bachelor, was our family friend at Miraj (मिरज). He used to stay in a single room in my friend's wada (वाडा) about a hundred meter from our house.

He had free access to any part of our small house and even when father wasn't around he used to joke and chat with our mother as she worked in the kitchen. She and we kids always used to pull his legs but he took it gamely or so we always thought.

Panditrao, that's what we all called him,  worked at chemistry lab of Willingdon College, Sangli. I could read lots of Marathi books because of him as he borrowed them from the college library.

He used to visit his brothers in Mumbai and Pune for Diwali. In 1980 (I think), he was traveling to Mumbai by train to be with his brother for Diwali. As the train stopped after Thane for some reason, he got down from it and started walking towards Mulund. We heard the same train knocked him to death as he was crossing the rail tracks. He was apparently carrying ghee from Miraj which was famous for all its milk products. They said the same ghee was poured on his funeral pyre.

For many years, Panditrao used to give us kids small gifts. One such gift was a toy soldier of clay. I don't remember the year but he bought it during urus of Samsuddin Mira Saheb. That toy soldier, 'huge' in stature, was my prized possession for many years. I still remember his face, his built, his weapon, his green fatigues. Every year I used to mount him on Diwali fort we used to build at home. He was a complete misfit standing next to Shivaji-maharaj (शिवाजी महाराज) and his saber/spear holding lieutenants.


  courtesy: Toy Story page on Facebook

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