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."

Friday, January 20, 2017

Trump Inauguration ...I Also Want Them to Think I'm Funny

Wikipedia: "The inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States is scheduled to take place today Friday, January 20, 2017, in Washington, D.C."

Artist: Zachary Kanin, The New Yorker, May 2009

Artist: David Sipress, The New Yorker, September 2013

Thursday, January 19, 2017

कंबरेच्यावर कोणतेही वस्त्र अंगावर असता कामा नये...Chin Vi Joshi चिं वि जोशी @125

Today January 19 2017 is 125th birth anniversary of Chi Vi Joshi (चिं वि जोशी)

Business Standard reported on December 8 2016: "The Kerala High Court on Thursday banned women from to wearing salwar kameez and churidars inside the Sri Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram.

According to the traditions of the temple, women devotees have to wear a mundu (dhoti) over their waist if they are attired in salwars or churidars.
"Only those women, clad in saris would be allowed inside the temple," said the court.
Earlier on November 30, 2016, temple executive officer K.N Satheesh had allowed women to visit the temple wearing 'churidar'..."

Earlier Loksatta (लोकसत्ता) reported on April 15 2016: "...अखेर देवस्थानने न्यायालयाच्या निर्णयाचा मान ठेवत पुरूषांप्रमाणे महिलांना सकाळी सहा ते सात या कालावधीत गर्भगृहात प्रवेश देण्यास मान्यता दिली. गर्भगृहात प्रवेश करताना ओले सुती, रेशमी वस्त्र परिधान करणे आवश्यक राहणार असल्याचे सांगण्यात आले..."

Reading about these repeatedly visited dress codes, I was amused and remembered something 'naughty' from the late Mr. Joshi's travelogue.
While describing his visit to Padmanabhaswamy Temple at Thiruvananthapuram in his book 'Sanchar' (संचार), 1945/1999, Joshi says:

"...दरवाज्यातून आत शिरताच तेथील परिचारकांनी आम्हांस अंगावरील पंचे कंबरेभोवती गुंडाळण्याची सूचना केली. कंबरेच्यावर कोणतेही वस्त्र पुरुषाच्या अंगावर असता कामा नये असा त्रावणकोरी देवस्थानाचा कायदा आहे..."

(Once we entered through the door, we were asked by the male attendants to wrap our waists with the towels that were till then wrapped around our body. 'The men should wear no cloth above their waist' is an edict of the Tranvankore Devasthan .)

But the punch comes in the next statement...

"पंचवीस वर्षांपूर्वी स्त्रियांनादेखील हा दंडक होता असे म्हणतात  !" (Twenty five years ago apparently the same edict was also applicable to the women !)

Will she be allowed in the temple?
Artist: Dinanath Dalal (दीनानाथ दलाल)

(Just look on the extreme left on the road, Rajiv Dole राजीव डोळे helped with it)

"...R K Narayan almost certainly never read or met C V Joshi. Or did he? I find a lot of similarity between their humour.

Narayan's first novel, Swami and Friends, was published in 1935. By then, C V Joshi's main character- Chimanrao- was well established in Marathi. 

But unlike R K Narayan, C V Joshi shuns sex completely.

An example: Bheema's husband, in 'Rahat-gaadagan' ('रहाट-गाडगं') 1955, performs roles of female characters in a theatre company. A lot of people, including his close family, make fun of him for that. Bheema herself doesn't like it. She might be even suspicious of his virility, particularly because her family was cheated to marry her off.

And yet Joshi completely omits any reference to consummation of their marriage and makes Bheema pregnant in due course!..."

But by making a statement as quoted above: "Twenty five years ago apparently the same edict was also applicable to the women !", he shows what we might have missed.

One of them will certainly be allowed in the temple

Apsaras, Mural, Sigiriya, c. 5th century. Sri Lanka

Monday, January 16, 2017

Raquel Welch Was Attired To Study 4,000-year-old DNA!

Charles C. Mann, Orion, November/ December 2012:
"Homo sapiens emerged on the planet about 200,000 years ago, researchers believe. From the beginning, our species looked much as it does today. If some of those long-ago people walked by us on the street now, we would think they looked and acted somewhat oddly, but not that they weren’t people." 

A distinguished member of my adolescent dreams, Ms. Raquel Welch has already appeared on this blog earlier in a post called प्रलयकाळी धरणीकंप(earthquake during cataclysm)...Here is she again...

'One Million Years B.C.'  

courtesy: © 1966 Hammer Film Productions Ltd. Renewed 1994 Hammer Film Productions Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

It was interesting reading opening lines of Marlene Zuk's essay  "Misguided Nostalgia for Our Paleo Past" accompanied by the poster of the film 'One Million Years B.C.' for "The Chronicle Review" dated February 18 2013: 

"The first thing you have to do to study 4,000-year-old DNA is take off your clothes.

I am standing with Oddný Ósk Sverrisdóttir in the airlock room next to the ancient-DNA laboratory at Uppsala University, in Sweden, preparing to see how she and her colleagues examine the bones of human beings and the animals they domesticated thousands of years ago...

...The first step is to extract the DNA from the bones. But when examining genes from other humans, you must avoid contaminating the samples with your own genetic material. Sverrisdóttir, a tall, blond Icelandic woman who looks like my image of a Valkyrie, at least if Valkyries are given to cigarette breaks and bouts of cheerful profanity, has brought a clean set of clothes for me to put on under the disposable spacesuitlike outfit I need to wear in the lab. I have to remove everything except my underwear, including my jewelry...".

So I figured out that Ms. Welch in the movie was really attired to study 4000-year-old DNA!  

Thursday, January 12, 2017

(डोम) कावळे, एडगर अॅलन पो आणि मी ...NEVERMORE

January 19 2017 will be Edgar Allan Poe's 208th birth anniversary, his poem 'The Raven' was published this month 172 years ago.

"...But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
    Nothing farther then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered—
    Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have flown before—
On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.”
            Then the bird said “Nevermore.”..."

Crows/ravens indeed are mysterious creatures. I have observed that whenever the volume of the voice in our household raises, for any reason- joy, grief, fight, electronics, plain talking etc, one of them perches itself on the wall of our terrace and starts crowing until we calm down, lower our voice!

Sometimes it really gets on my nerves and I chase it with a cricket stump...!

Here it is in June 2016:

Sitting across me...I wonder if it is crowing: NEVERMORE, NEVERMORE...

I came upon this cartoon in "The New Yorker" in May 2016.

Artist: David Borchart, The New Yorker, May 2016

I took my son's help to 'decipher' this cartoon.

It depicts Poe and a raven are playing scrabble. Raven is from Poe's "The Raven", 1845. It's holding a letter 'N' in is beak and is gunning for the word 'NEVERMORE' that recurs in the poem!

Wikipedia informs:

‘…"The Raven" is a narrative poem by American writer Edgar Allan Poe. First published in January 1845, the poem is often noted for its musicality, stylized language, and supernatural atmosphere. It tells of a talking raven's mysterious visit to a distraught lover, tracing the man's slow fall into madness. The lover, often identified as being a student, is lamenting the loss of his love, Lenore. Sitting on a bust of Pallas, the raven seems to further instigate his distress with its constant repetition of the word "Nevermore"…’

In the cartoon, Poe's distress is going to increase further because the raven is going to score some points with that word! 

This must easily one of the best cartoons I have seen.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

...Not With Topless Chorus Girls but Polar Bear & Her OffSpring... Peter Arno @113

Today January 8 2017 is 113th birth anniversary of great Peter Arno

(By the way, the late Vasant Sarwate वसंत सरवटे told me how Arno was one of his favorites and that he had a book containing Arno's cartoons which he had bought when he was a student of College of Engineering, Pune)

T. S. Eliot:
"This is the way the world ends. This is the way the world ends. This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper"

Graham Greene:
“When we are young, we are a jungle of complications. We simplify as we get older.” (“The Quiet American”)

Peter Arno and a model in his dining-room studio, 1949

Photographer:  Stanley Kubrick for Look Magazine 

Courtesy: Photograph Collection, Library of Congress. 

Artist: Peter Arno, The New Yorker, February 15 1941

 Ben Schwartz, Vanity Fair, April 2016
 "...Arno’s mother died on January 31, 1968, at age 87. Arno died three weeks later, on February 22, at age 64. Reporters called Pat Arno, asking for an anecdote or two about her famous father. She simply replied, “None are repeatable.” Arno’s last cover for The New Yorker appeared in June, a polar bear and its cub in the zoo, parent and child, peacefully rubbing noses, a polar bear’s kiss for its offspring—a lifetime away from top hats and nightclubs."

Artist: Peter Arno, The New Yorker, June 1968

Thursday, January 05, 2017

सर्वत्र डेलिया आणि वांड गोडसे बसलेले असतात...Remembering D G Godse

आज जानेवारी ५ २०१७, द ग गोडशांची पंचविसावी पुण्यतिथी आहे. 

दीपक हणमंतराव कन्नल:
"...नैसर्गिक वाढीमध्ये फुटणारे नवे घुमारे मराठी समीक्षेत क्वचितच दिसतात. त्यातून मर्ढेकर-गोडसे यांसारखे मनस्वी, त्यांच्याच शब्दात सांगावयाचे तर 'वांड', औचित्यविचाराची मर्यादाही निःशंकपणे ओलांडणारे अभ्यासकही जवळजवळ नाहीतच..." 
(पृष्ठ १५१, 'द. ग. गोडसे यांची कलामीमांसा', संपादक: सरोजिनी वैद्य, वसंत पाटणकर, १९९७)

मराठी लिहणाऱ्यांमध्ये गोडशांसारख पूर्वी कोणी नव्हत आणि आतातर अजिबात नाहीये.

रॉबर्ट ह्यूज (Robert Hughes, 1938-2012), जॉन बर्गर (John Berger, 1926-2017)  यांच्या सारख्यांच्या  योग्यतेचा हा माणूस: "Raising criticism to the level of art, his writing was noted for its power and elegance", "The enduring mystery and relevance of art; the lived experience, both of the free and the oppressed; by combining these interests, Berger’s art criticism transcends its genre to become a very rare thing—literature"....

असतील त्यांच्या लेखनात उधळले तर्कांचे घोडे (समंदे तलाश!), पण त्या 'घोड्यांनी' कलास्वादाच्या दिशा मला दाखवल्या आहेत, भूतकाळाकडे कसे पाहता येईल याचे मार्गदर्शन केले आहे, एकाच चित्रांत कसा एखाद्या कालखंडाचा इतिहास आणि त्याचवेळी त्याच्या विकृतीकरणाचे प्रयत्न अशा दोन्ही गोष्टी दिसू शकतात याचे विवेचन केले आहे.

त्यांचे 'मस्तानी' हा वस्तुनिष्ठ इतिहास नाहीच आहे पण एक कलाकृती म्हणून त्याचे मोठे महत्व आहे. मध्ययुगीन स्त्रीकडे बघण्याचा तो एक हृद्य प्रयत्न आहे. टी एस इलियटच्या "you do not know/
The unspoken voice of sorrow in the ancient bedroom/ At three o'clock in the morning" ची आठवण करून देणारा.

'शक्तिसौष्ठव'च पण तसच. कितीतरी त्यांनी त्यात मांडलेले सिद्धांत चुकीचे असतील. पण माझ्या सारख्याला १७व्या शतकातील महाराष्ट्राची कलावैशिष्ट्ये त्यामुळे समजली. ताजमहाल आणि रायगड हे आपापल्यापरीने कसे सुंदर आहेत हे समजले. तुकाराम, रामदास यांचे रसग्रहण जास्त चांगले करता आले.

अशी उदाहरण अजून बरीच देता येतील: शिवाजी महाराजांच डच चित्रकारान काढलेले चित्र, संगीत सौभद्र, दीनानाथ दलाल, जेम्स व्हिस्टलर (James Abbott McNeill Whistler), अष्टविनायक, शिल्पी महाराष्ट्र, भिंतीवर काढलेली चित्रे, मध्ययुगीन मराठी भाषा...इत्यादी...ती ह्या ब्लॉग वर पसरलेली आहेत. 

गोडशांचा पहिला लेख अष्टविनायकांवरचा दिवाळी अंकात (मटा?) वाचलेला... त्यानंतर पहिले पुस्तक 'शक्तिसौष्ठव' १९८४ च्या सुमारास वाचलेले...नंतर कलकत्त्याला असताना त्यांच्या बरोबर झालेला पुष्कळ पत्रव्यवहार...त्यावेळी मला त्यांचे मस्तानी प्रेम समजले....नंतर  'मस्तानी' दोन-तीनदा वाचले....मग १९९१साली चेंबूरला त्यांच्या घरी भेटायचे ठरवून, माझ्यामुळे झाले नाही...(त्यांना थोडा माझ्या कंपनीचा चहा नेवून देणार होतो).

१९९२ जानेवारीला अंजु आणि मी आसाममध्ये गेलो होतो...आसाम थंडीमध्ये अधिकच सुंदर दिसायच, डेलिया सगळीकडे बहरला होता...माझ्या कंपनीच्या एका मॅनेजरच्या बंगल्यात उतरलो होतो... ८ जानेवारी १९९२ असावा...सकाळी ब्रेकफास्ट चालू असताना, त्यावेळचे खूप खपणारे, 'धि टेलिग्राफ' दैनिक उचलले... कलकत्याचे पेपर किमान एक दिवस तरी उशिरा अपर आसाम मध्ये पोचत असत...तो ६ जानेवारीचा पेपर असावा....पहिल्याच पानावर डावीकडच्या स्तंभात बातमी - गोडसे वारले होते...

पहिल्यांदा आश्चर्य वाटले... गोडशांच्या जाण्याची बातमी पहिल्या पानावर कलकत्याच्या इंग्लीश पेपरात? वसंत सरवटे जाण्याची बातमी मी अजून टाइम्स ऑफ इंडियाच्या पुण्याच्या आवृत्तीत मुख्य पानांमध्ये पहिली नाहीये!

अंजु विणकाम करत समोरच बसली होती... गोडसे गेले म्हणालो...एक उदासी आली....बराच वेळ टिकली...

आज पुन्हा एकदा वाटत, सदानंद रेग्यांच्या भाषेत, आमची वही रोज थोडीथोडी कोरी होत चाललीय....गोडसे, धोंड, सारंग, सरवटे... यातील तिघांना/शी (सारंग सोडून) बिनधास्त लिहायचो/ बोलायचो ... आणि त्यांच्या बद्दल, होतय तो पर्यंत, बिनधास्त लिहीत राहीन...

... आणि आज गोडसे म्हटलं की पहिल्यांदा आठवतात आसामचे बहरलेले डेलियाच ... नंतर आठवते रेगेंची  त्यांच्या वरची कविता...

 सर्वत्र गोडसे बसलेले असतात;
(ते अर्थात आपणांस दिसत नाहीत.)
 पाबळच्या एस्टी स्टँडवर
मस्तानी जातीनं येते
घेऊन आपल्या समाधीवरची चादर
"रफ़ू करून द्या."
गोडसे गोडसं हसतात
नि चादर हिर्वीहिर्वी जर्द होऊन जाते....

वाङ्मय शोभेच्या जानेवारी १९४० च्या अंकात हे निवेदन होत :
स्पष्ट उल्लेख मला सापड्ला नसला तरी, खालील, जानेवारी १९४०चे, उत्कृष्ट मुखपृष्ठ गोडसे (द. गो  नाही!) किंवा वसंत केळकर यापैकी एकाने किंवा दोघांनी मिळून केले आहे. 

सौजन्य: वाङ्मय शोभा, कलावंतांचे उत्तराधिकारी, बुकगंगा.कॉम 

 उजव्या बाजूच वाचाल तर लक्षात येईल की गोडश्यांनी या अंकासाठी कै. माधव ज्यूलियन (२१/१/१८९४-२९/११/१९३९), ज्यांचे नुकतेच चटका लावणारे - केवळ ४५व्या वर्षी- निधन झाले होते, यांचे रेखाचित्र काढले होते. ते मात्र मला ऑनलाईन अंकात मिळाले नाही.