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, March 13, 2020

धोका!...My Father, R S Kantak, Raja Ravi Varma and Avi Steinberg

Today March 13  2020 is Rang Panchami (रंगपंचमी, शके १९४२)... 57 years ago, my father's then 'controversial' book was published.

My father (1936- 2019), wrote  a Marathi social novel (सामाजिक कादंबरी): 'Dhoka, Hamrasta Pudhe Aahe!' (धोका, हमरस्ता पुढे आहे!) that was published in 1963 (शके १८८४). The subtitle read: '(अत्यंत प्रक्षोभक आणि अपूर्व सामाजिक कादंबरी)/ [फक्त प्रौढांसाठी]'. 

As I have said elsewhere on this blog earlier, the book was attacked by the likes of Jaywant Dalvi (जयवंत दळवी) but the right of my father to write it was defended by the likes of D K Bedekar (दि के बेडेकर).

I read that book when I was 18 or so. I liked it, not for sex (there is hardly any) but the way my father had successfully captured the mood of a frustrated young man, the family tensions and so on. I think the book is autobiographical in parts.

 The collage of the covers of most of his books, under a glass frame,  hung in our small drawing room , for as long as I remember and 'Dhoka''s cover always caught my attention for the prominent nipple it showed.


Artist: R S Kantak (र. स. कंटक)

Mr. Kantak became a well known visual artist. I thought he had gone on a limb, drawing a bare nipple for this cover.  I am sure it shocked some people in 1963. Today it looks as if he was campaigning for #FreeTheNipple!

Kantak had an illustrious predecessor in this area.

a scene from Kālidāsa’s play Abhijñānaśākuntalam

Artist: Raja Ravi Varma

Artist: Avi Steinberg, The New Yorker, March 2017