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.”

Shel Silverstein : “Talked my head off Worked my tail off Cried my eyes out Walked my feet off Sang my heart out So you see, There’s really not much left of me.” ~

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."

Thursday, December 31, 2015

जो आला तो रमला...भरपूर दुधी हलवा....Cartoonist Gavankar

Silenus

"That the best thing for a man is not to be born, and if already born, to die as soon as possible."

ग. दि. माडगूळकर:

"...सुटकेलागी मन घाबरते, जो आला तो रमला."
 
 Look at the following cartoon of the late Gavankar (गवाणकर)...I find it so funny and rather deep...


I don't like curry of bottle gourd (दुधी भोपळा) but I like the sweet made out of it called: 'Dudhi Halwa' (दुधी हलवा).

In the picture above, in the top frame, the man is looking at the sign board that says: "फक्त २५ पैशात भरपूर दुधी हलवा" (In only 25 paise, plenty of  'Dudhi Halwa').

Marathi word 'halwa' can mean a sweetmeat- pictured immediately below- or a form of the verb: to shake.

courtesy: Anjali A. Kulkarni, August 2015

As the man walks in (look how happy and excited he looks),  he discovers- as shown in the lower frame- that a bottle gourd is hung.  Next to it is a signboard that says "Please shake the gourd carefully" and tough looking guy is standing there to ensure its compliance.

Now you expect the man to leave disappointed or to argue with the establishment. Instead he is shown shaking the gourd gently!

Isn't life like a "gourd" trap? Once we enter it, we are reluctant to exit it even after discovering  that this is not what we sought.

Happy New Year 2016...

Friday, December 25, 2015

गोठा बाळ जन्मलें....The Star of Bethlehem or Star Wars?

Today December 25 2015 is Christmas

One of the best writing on Jesus I have read is Durga Bhagwat's (दुर्गा भागवत) Marathi essay "christ-sangat" (ख्रिस्त-संगत)- first written for 'Abhiruchi' (अभिरुची), June 1967- now part of her book: 'Paisa' ('पैस', 1970/1988).

She quotes the following poem/ folk song in it.



 This month I saw a brilliant cartoon to coincide with the release of the film 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'


Artist: Mike Lukovich

It's a popular (mis?) conception that the three wise men visited Jesus at the stable on the night of his birth. But here they are shown lining for the blockbuster movie!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Oh He's Not a Whale, He's the Devil Himself!...Or Is He?

Herman Melville, 'Moby-Dick', 1851:

"BOOK II. (Octavo), CHAPTER IV. (Killer).—Of this whale little is precisely known to the Nantucketer, and nothing at all to the professed naturalist. From what I have seen of him at a distance, I should say that he was about the bigness of a grampus. He is very savage—a sort of Feegee fish. He sometimes takes the great Folio whales by the lip, and hangs there like a leech, till the mighty brute is worried to death. The Killer is never hunted. I never heard what sort of oil he has. Exception might be taken to the name bestowed upon this whale, on the ground of its indistinctness. For we are all killers, on land and on sea; Bonapartes and Sharks included."


"Io!  Paean!  Io! sing.

     To the finny people's king.

     Not a mightier whale than this

     In the vast Atlantic is;

     Not a fatter fish than he,

     Flounders round the Polar Sea."

     —Charles Lamb's Triumph of the Whale.
 


Captain Ahab: "Oh he's not a whale, he's the devil himself!"

Artist: Zachary Kanin, The New Yorker, October 2015

Saturday, December 19, 2015

हजार पाचशेतून निवडून काढली आहे...Natyachhatakar Diwakar's GM Bat

Enclosed is a dramatic monologue (DM) on cricket by Natyachhatakar Diwakar (नाट्यछटाकार दिवाकर) dated August 8 1913....so interesting and funny...



It is more than 100 year old but a few of today's issues are touched upon...Decision Review System (did ball touch the bat or not?), quality of bats.....

Bat brand/ manufacturer Gunn & Moore , referred by Diwakar, survives...He calls the bat: दिलजान....what a beautiful word...had not seen it being used in Marathi....he also says bat has the autograph of 'Gunn & Moore'....did he mean logo?

Diwakar says about the bat: हजार पाचशेतून निवडून काढली आहे (Chosen from a thousand / five hundred ones)...It's interesting  Gunn & Moore does have bat selector module on its website. It presents some 10+ screens for you to enter data before it picks out a bat for you!

I went through the process and it chose the following bat for me:

Diwakar would be amused by the process.....I wonder if he were to write the DM today, how he would have gone about it....

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Death Plays Dice...Never Ignoble


Shakuni:

“In any sport involving competition,
the effort to defeat one’s adversary
could be called ignoble, though it never is.
In playing dice, the stronger player tries
to defeat the weaker—that is the game.
If you are afraid, refuse the challenge.”

("17. The Dice Game, II • THE BOOK OF THE ASSEMBLY HALL", 'Mahabharata: A Modern Retelling', 2015 by Carole Satyamurti)




The Seventh Seal, 1957


One of the pivotal scene from Ingmar Bergman's great film 'The Seventh Seal' was inspired by
a medieval church painting:

 'Death playing chess' by Albertus Pictor (1440-1507). 

Location: Täby kyrka, Diocese of Stockholm.

 courtesy: Wikipedia





Artist: Paul Noth, The New Yorker, November 2015

I am guessing here that Mr. Noth is commenting on the terrorism caused deaths around the world (look at the world map)....that includes gun-related deaths in USA....

Friday, December 11, 2015

आयुष्यावर पडदा...Death of Don Quixote: Cervantes and G A Kulkarni

Today December 11 2015 is 28th Death Anniversary of G A Kulkarni (जी ए कुलकर्णी)


Simon Leys writes:

"...The death of Don Quixote in the last chapter is the climax of the entire book. I would challenge any reader, however tough and insensitive, to read these pages without shedding a tear..." ('THE HALL OF USELESSNESS', Collected Essays, 2011)

I have still not read  Cervantes's book but I decided to read the last chapter and it did move me.

But I had already shed the tear for dying Don while reading G A Kulkarni's (जी ए कुलकर्णी) 'Yatrik' (यात्रिक).

GA does not use almost a single word of  Cervantes but I dare say he is no less moving than Cervantes there. He imagines the words that could have been exchanged there as Don lay dying.




courtesy: Popular Prakashan (पॉप्युलर प्रकाशन)



'The Death of Don Quixote', 1902

Sancho Panza peers sadly through the half-open door.  

Artist: William Strang

Sunday, December 06, 2015

लीला गान्धी नाचता नाचता...Golden Jubilee of Kela Ishara Jaata Jaata...केला इशारा जाता जाता


Year 2015 marks the 50th anniversary year of a super-hit Marathi film Anant Mane's (अनंत माने) 'Kela Ishara Jaata Jaata' (केला इशारा जाता जाता).

Although I distinctly remember its huge popularity in Miraj c 1966, I saw the film only in November 2015.

I liked many things about the film, but I was most impressed with the dancing skills of Leela Gandhi (लीला गान्धी)....particularly in the song 'Nachato Dombari Ran Nachto Dombari' (नाचतो डोंबारी रं)

Look at the following snapshot from the song....she actually is balancing on the cable.....Not many film dancers can dare even attempt this....all her dances in the film just blew me away... In your face, Vyjayanthimala!




courtesy: the current copyright holders of the film

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Although 80, Woody Allen Can't Die...

Woody Allen Turns 80 today, December 1 2015...it's hard to believe the man is older than my father, who will turn 80 only next June....

God forbid the death comes looking for him now....but even if he does, he has an an excuse to stay back....

Artist: Harry Bliss