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, April 03, 2016

When There Were No Wikipedia and Google...and Now That They Are Here...

I came across the following in M. V. Dhond's (म. वा. धोंड) book 'Aisa Vitevar Dev Kothe!' (ऐसा विटेवर देव कोठें!), 2001, page 29 :

"...आधुनिक युरोपीय आणि आधुनिक आर्यभारतीय भाषांत 'ज्ञानेश्वरी' हा ग्रंथ सर्वांत प्राचीन. …आधुनिक आर्यभारतीय भाषांतील उडिया व असामी या भाषा सर्वात जुन्या. उडियातील सारळादासचे 'महाभारत' चौदाव्या शतकातील, तर असामीतील शंकरदेवांचे  'रामायण' व 'भागवत' हे ग्रंथ पंधराव्या  शतकातील… "

One feels proud reading the first sentence but I found three errors (blunders?) in the last statement. Corrected, it should read:

"...उडियातील सारळादासचे 'महाभारत' पंधराव्या  शतकाच्या उत्तरभागाचे,  तर असामीतील माधोब कोंडोलीचे 'रामायण' हा ग्रंथ चौदाव्या  शतकातील..."

(Sarala Dasa’s “Mahabharat” in Oriya belongs to second half of the 15th century and Madhava Kandali’s “Ramayana” in Assamese is from 14th century....)

[I am working on Dhond's another major error regarding R D Karve (र. धों कर्वे) and Margaret Sanger. I will write about it some time this year.]

Durga Bhagwat (दुर्गा भागवत) is quoted as follows:

"...या व्हिक्टर ह्युगोचंच एक नाटक आहे 'लुई दि फोर्टिन्थ' म्हणून. या नाटकातील फ्रान्सचा हा राजा अत्यंत बदफ़ैली. तेव्हाच्या पद्धतीनुसार त्याच्या दरबारात एक विदुषक होता. त्याला एक मुलगी होती. अतिशय सुन्दऱ्र. ती लुई राजाच्या नजरेस पडू नये म्हणून तो सतत खबरदारी घ्यायचा. पण एकदा लुई तिला बघतो आणि तिच्यावर बलात्कार करतो. हे कथानक तेंडुलकरांच्या 'घाशीराम कोतवाल' या नाटकाच मूळ. १४ वा  लुई आणि त्याच्या विदुषकाऐवजी नाना फडणीस आणि घाशीराम वर त्यांबी नाटक रचलं..."

[page 136 of the book- "Aaipais Gappa: Durgabainshi" (ऐसपैस गप्पा: दुर्गाबाईंशी) by Pratibha Ranade (प्रतिभा रानडे) , 1998]

This is good to know except the fact that Victor Hugo never wrote a play called "Louis the fourteenth"! He wrote the play Le roi s'amuse, 1832 that resembles Tendulkar's play and there is no Louis in it...there is Francis instead!


'Le Roi s'amuse' by John Singer Sargent, 1882

Now I wish to narrate something about which I am deeply embarrassed. It also proves how one has to be careful in getting the information from the internet.

B S Mardhekar  (बा. सी. मर्ढेकर) wrote following untitled poem included in his book 'Mardhekaranchi Kavita' (मर्ढेकरांची कविता), 1959/1977:

"सुखदुःखांचे गळे कापुनी
मळे पिकविले वर्षांनी तरि,
रवंथ काढी कुढ़या मनाची
जुनाच भाकड़-कडबा हा वरि.

कुड़ीकुड़ींतिल भाव लाळला;
आचळ धरिती पातळ आशा;
अधू मनाची दुडकी कुठवर-
जमेल तर ही जिथवर भाषा,

-अणि पांगल्या गाई जगभर
गोमुत्राने पावन अंबर!"

Dhond called me some time in 2003 and asked me if I knew this poem. I did...
How did I like it? I liked it, particularly the last two lines....
Did I understand it? I had no clue!

He explained to me what Mardhekar probably meant.

Mardhekar is making fun of  US-led multinational forum (गाई जगभर) - San Francisco Conference- that was held in 1945 the plane called Sacred Cow” (Air Force One) used by the then American President Harry S. Truman to attend it (गोमुत्राने पावन अंबर) and the conference's (led by USA) lofty aim to reshape (manipulate?) the world  .

President Truman and Wife Boarding Sacred Cow 1946

I congratulated Dhond on his impeccable timing because US had invaded Iraq that year, again by brazenly manipulating UN. We all now know how brazen and with what consequences!

I did some googling and sent Dhond some info that I thought was relevant to the subject. Dhond included that  in his essay for Lalit Diwali (ललित दिवाळी) 2003:”Gomutrane Pavan Ambar!” (गोमुत्राने पावन अंबर!).
 Lalit, Diwali 2003

Earlier he had thanked me for the information with this letter dated September 8 2003:



I realized later, after Dhond's death, that I had sent him partly erroneous information!

Along with other things, I had told him that the plane 'Sacred Cow' was later given to UN and it crashed in Congo, in 1961, with 2nd Secretary-General of the United Nations Mr. Dag Hammarskjöld on board, under suspicious circumstances.  

The plane that crashed that day was NOT 'Sacred Cow'...Media making fun of 'Sacred Cow' was correct...

I had gathered all that information from the internet!

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