मेघदूत: "नीचैर्गच्छत्युपरि च दशा चक्रनेमिक्रमेण"

समर्थ शिष्या अक्का : "स्वामीच्या कृपाप्रसादे हे सर्व नश्वर आहे असे समजले. पण या नश्वरात तमाशा बहुत आहे."

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.”

Friedrich Nietzsche: “Everybody wants the same, everybody is the same: whoever feels different goes voluntarily into a madhouse.”

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);...”

सदानंद रेगे:
"... पण तुकारामाची गाथा ज्या धुंदीनं आजपर्यंत वाचली जात होती ती धुंदी माझ्याकडे नाहीय. ती मला येऊच शकत नाही याचं कारण स्वभावतःच मी नास्तिक आहे."
".. त्यामुळं आपण त्या दारिद्र्याच्या अनुभवापलीकडे जाऊच शकत नाही. तुम्ही जर अलीकडची सगळी पुस्तके पाहिलीत...तर त्यांच्यामध्ये त्याच्याखेरीज दुसरं काही नाहीच आहे. म्हणजे माणसांच्या नात्यानात्यांतील जी सूक्ष्मता आहे ती क्वचित चितारलेली तुम्हाला दिसेल. कारण हा जो अनुभव आहे... आपले जे अनुभव आहेत ते ढोबळ प्रकारचे आहेत....."

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."

Friday, February 02, 2018

स्मशानांवरही 'हाऊस फुल्ल' चे फलक झळकू लागले...1918 Flu Pandemic @100


'The first victim diagnosed with the new strain of flu' was, Wikipedia informs, on Monday, March 11, 1918'. The pandemic went on to kill 3 to 5% of world population. As many as 17 million died in India, about 5% of India's population at the time.

W. H. Auden:

"...Unendowed with wealth or pity,
Little birds with scarlet legs,
Sitting on their speckled eggs,
Eye each flu-infected city..."
चिंतामण गणेश कोल्हटकर (श्रीपाद कृष्ण कोल्हटकरांच्या नाटकाचा प्रयोग बसवताना ,  पावसाळा  १९१८, मुक्काम मुंबई): "... पूर्णांशाच्या फलप्राप्तीसाठी नव्या नाटकाचा प्रयोग करण्याच्या तयारीत आम्ही गुंतलो असता परमेश्वरी योजनेची नव्या प्रयोगाची सिद्धता होऊन चुकली होती. तीही एक यशस्वी दुःखांतिकाच होती. त्या नव्या नाटकाचे नाव होते 'इन्पल्युएंझा. त्याचे तंत्र अगदी नवीन होते. या परमेश्वरी दुःखान्तिकेची लोकप्रियता इतकी पराकोटीला पोहोचली, की स्मशानांवरही 'हाऊस फुल्ल' चे फलक झळकू लागले. प्रतिदिनी बाराशे-तेराशे माणूस मृत्युमुखी पडू लागले. नवागतांना जागा देण्यासाठी अर्धेमुर्धे दहन झालेले देह ढोसून समुद्रात लोटून द्यावे लागत. हल्लकल्लोळ उडाला. सर्वांच्या तोंडचे पाणी पळाले..."
(पृष्ठ: १३३, 'बहुरूपी', १९५७)

सेतु माधवराव पगडी: ".... १९१८ची इन्फ्लुएंझा साथ मला चांगलीच आठवते. स्मशानाकडे जाणारी वाट आमच्या घरावरून असे. रोज पाच पंचवीस तरी प्रेते घरावरून जात. आम्ही मुले घाबरून जात असू... "
(पृष्ठ २८, 'जीवनसेतु', १९६९)"

Gravin Francis, London Review of Books, January 25 2018:
"... Although there was no effective treatment for the virus, aspirin was taken by the tonne (its German manufacturer, Bayer, was suspected of spreading flu through its pills); aspirin poisoning possibly killed some who would otherwise have survived. Across the world communities adapted traditional remedies: in China, public sweat baths, opium and herbal extracts; in India, hill tribes moulded figures out of flour and water, and waved them over the sick...
...The virus is currently held in a high-security facility in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2016, around 1.7 million people died from tuberculosis, around a million from HIV/Aids, and around half a million from malaria. Computer modelling suggests that if the 1918 H1N1 virus were to break out of the facility in Atlanta it would cause around thirty million deaths."
माझ्या लहानपणा पासून फ्लू हा  शब्द किरकोळ थंडीतापाला वापरला जातो पण मी ही पोस्ट लिहू शकलो कारण माझे दोन्हीकडचे आज्जी आजोबा १९१८च्या फ्लू मध्ये बळी पडले नाहीत! एकतृतीयांशाहून जास्त भारतीयांना त्याची लागण झाली होती आणि,  विकिपीडियाच्या म्हणण्या प्रमाणे, १.७ कोटी लोक त्यात बळी पडले.  आज तशी भयंकर लागण झाली तर भारताच्या लोकसंख्येच्या ५% , म्हणजे साधारण ६.६ कोटी लोक दगावू शकतात!

Shashi Tharoor:
"... During the Spanish Influenza epidemic of 1918, 125 million cases of ‘flu were recorded (more than a third of the population), and India’s fatality rate was higher than any Western country’s: 12.5 million people died. As the American statesman (and three-time Democratic presidential candidate) William Jennings Bryan pointed out, many Britons were referring to the deaths caused by plague as ‘a providential remedy for overpopulation’. It was ironic, said Bryan, that British rule was sought to be justified on the grounds that ‘it keeps the people from killing each other, and the plague praised because it removes those whom the Government has saved from slaughter!’.
Arguably, epidemics existed before colonialism as well, and cannot be said to have been caused or worsened by colonial policy; so they are not comparable, for the purposes of my argument, with famines. But their persistence, and the tragically high human toll they exacted remain a severe indictment of the indifference to Indian suffering of those who ran the British Raj. This is all the more true because ‘marked improvements in public health’ are often cited by defenders of British rule in India. There is not a great deal of evidence for this claim, which rests largely on the introduction of quinine as an anti-malarial drug (though its principal use was in the tonics with which the British in jungle outposts drowned and justified their gin), public programmes of vaccination against smallpox (so inadequate that it was only well after Independence that a free India eradicated this scourge from the country) and improvements in water supplies (done so ineffectually, in fact, that cholera and other waterborne diseases persisted throughout the Raj). It is also telling that there were no great hospitals established by the Raj anywhere in the country: strikingly, every one of the major modern medical establishments of British India was established by the generosity of Indian benefactors, even if, for understandable reasons, these Indian donors often named their hospitals after British colonial grandees...."
 ('An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India', 2016)

ज्या सांगली जिल्ह्यात मी बालपण घालवले , त्यात कॉलेज , नदीवरचा पूल 'साहेबाच्या' नावान आहे पण कुठल हॉस्पिटल नाही. ज्या हॉस्पिटलचे आम्ही कुटुंबीय कृतज्ञ आहोत, ज्यात लक्ष्मीबाई टिळकांनी नोकरी करायचा प्रयत्न केला, ते कनेडीयन/ अमेरिकन मिशनराच्या (वानलेस) नावाने आहे.

Artist: Peter C Vey, The New Yorker, January 2018