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."

Monday, June 18, 2018

Joan of Arc 1412-1431, Rani of Jhansi 1828-1858...How Did They Really Look?

 #RaniOfJhansi #RaniOfJhansi160thDeathAnniversary

Today June 18 2018 is 160th death anniversary of Rani of Jhansi

When I saw this attractive looking, Wonder-woman-alike Joan of Arc , I started wondering if she really looked anything like this

Artist: Albert Lynch (1851-1912)

Kathryn Harrison writes in 'Joan of Arc: A Life Transfigured', 2014:

"...We have no verifiable likeness of Joan and little physical description. Portraits made during her lifetime, including her profile pressed into, as stated in the trial record, “medals of lead or other metal in her likeness, like those made for the anniversaries of saints canonized by the Church,” would have been destroyed in the wake of her execution, no longer devotional objects but devil’s play. The single surviving contemporaneous image of Joan is the work of a man who never saw her, more doodle than drawing...

...The Duke of Alençon, who, like others of Joan’s comrades-in-arms, “slept on the straw” with her and had occasion to see her disrobe, praised her young body as beautiful, quickly adding that he “never had any carnal desire for her” and attributing the failure to Joan’s ability to banish the lust of any who might admire her, a power to which other men in her company bore witness. “Although she was a young girl, beautiful and shapely,” her squire, Jean d’Aulon, said, and he “strong, young, and vigorous,” and though in the course of dressing her and caring for her wounds he had “often seen her breasts, and … her legs quite bare,” never was his “body moved to any carnal desire for her.”...

...Given a blank canvas, many of the painters who have taken Joan as a subject summoned a comely blonde, more Valkyrie than French paysanne, just as they fabricated features for the equally unknown face of Jesus, every portrait not only homage but also projection. The hero must always be handsome and the heroine beautiful, attended by light, not dark, to reveal the perfection virtue demands. The black robe in which a witch could expect to be burned is almost without exception whitewashed for Joan,  more often depicted in her glory, a majestic figure clad in shining armor and mounted on a white horse. To avoid revealing the immodest outline of a woman’s legs, the painted Joan’s armor tends, like a bodice, to terminate at her waist; from it flows a skirt usually originating under an incongruous peplum fashioned of plate mail..."

Saul David, 'The Indian Mutiny', 2002:

"...One Briton, who met her in 1854, wrote: ‘Her face must have been very handsome when she was younger, and even now it had many charms . . . The eyes were particularly fine, and the nose very delicately shaped . . . Her dress was a plain white muslin, so fine in texture, and drawn about her in such a way, and so tightly, that the outline of her figure was plainly discernible — and a remarkably fine figure she had. What spoilt her was her voice, which was something between a whine and a croak.’ (Lang, Wanderings in India, 93-4.)...
...At the time of her death, so General Rose told the Duke of Cambridge, the Rani was ‘dressed in a red jacket, red trousers and white puggary’. She was also wearing ‘the celebrated pearl necklace of Scindia, which she had taken from his Treasury, and heavy gold anklets’. Rose added: ‘As she lay mortally wounded in her Tent she ordered these ornaments to be distributed amongst her Troops; it is said that Tantia Topee intercepted the necklace. The whole rebel army mourned for her; her body was burned with great ceremony under a tamarind tree under the Rock of Gwalior, where I saw her bones and ashes.’...
... ‘The Ranee was remarkable for her beauty, cleverness and perseverance,’ wrote General Rose, ‘her generosity to her subordinates was unbounded. These qualities, combined with her rank, rendered her the most dangerous of all the rebel leaders.’..."