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, November 08, 2015

आमचे डुमडुमातून पलायन...Was It Fear or Relief 25 Years Ago in Assam?


Ignoring the wisdom of the crowd, I went to Assam to work for a transnational FMCG giant in July 1989. I have referred to my stay in the east from time to time on this blog.

Today November 8 2015 is 25th anniversary of the event that shook middle class foundations of our lives.

Apparently under the death threat  by The United Liberation Front of Assam, we were evacuated from Upper Assam, with the help of India's defense forces, on the morning of November 8 1990

My wife who was not keeping well and I remember almost every minute of that day.  

The Indian Airlines flight that was supposed to take us from Sookerating airport to Kolkata developed a snag. A spare part for it was carried by another commercial plane and by the time we reached Kolkata, it was dark.

Media had gathered outside the airport. We were told not to open our mouths. We were whisked away to a city five star hotel.  Then there was a rumor that the ULFA gunman had reached the hotel and so were taken to the company guest house not too far from the hotel. 

If the electronic media then were to be anything like today's, I would be famous for more than 15 minutes.


 


 courtesy: Frontline, December 8-21 1990


p.s. Despite so much of turmoil in Assam and our lives, the cover of the Frontline has heart-rending images of Punjab and there is no mention of Assam!

There is a message in it: It's perspective and proportion, stupid!

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