Sunday, August 16, 2009

Some words in the Hindi language.

basmati = queen of fragrance
garam = temperature hot
thikhat = spicy hot
rasa = taste
Rani = queen
Chhana = cheese
amrit = nectar of the Gods
shakti and buddhi = strength and wisdom
“Jyacha haat modla to tyachaach galyaat padla.” A Marathii saying meaning: One who brakes his arm must carry it in a sling.

raat ki rani = queen of the night
mohalla = neighbourhood
guli-danda = cricket
Namaste = Hello for Hindus
Walaikum as-salaam = Peace be with you.
firangi = a Westerner
As a Punjabi saying goes, Wakt noon hath naen phar-da. There is no hand to catch time.
“Aadar aye, dilather jaye!” May honour come and poverty vanish.
“Aaye basant, paala udant.” Warm weather comes, cold weather flies away.
Lahori festivals: Basant, Holi, Diwali, Eid and Christmas.

Tumare nām kya hai? = What’s your name?
Mera nām Ram hai = My name is Ram
Bahout acha = perfect
Phir milenge = ? bye
Mandir = temple - I wonder is mandir sanskrit. It is very like Munster and and monastery in English and German and mainistir in Gaelic (Irish), which means monastery - all religious places.

Tum kahein ho? = Where were you?
kahein = where
Tum ka nahin dekha. = I did’nt see you.
ka = you
nahin = didn’t
dekha = see
Subh Raatri = Good night
Subh = good
Raatri = night

Shubh Diwali = Happy Diwali, Happy Deepavali
Dee = light
pavali = row
row of lights

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Krishna is an incarnation of the God Vishnu, preserver of the Universe. Krishna summed up the essence of Hinduism in the Bhagavadgita (The Song of God), a section of the Hindu sacred epic poem known as the Mahabharata.

Hindu festivals: Diwali, the five-day Festival of Lights, Durga Puja, Ganpati, Lohri (loot)

There is a new translation of the Mahabharata by John Smith, Penguin 978 0 140 44681 4

The Mahabharata is an ancient epic poem in Sanskrit and is central to Hindu culture.

Brahma, the creator God; Vishnu, the preserver God; Shiva, the destroyer God.

Three chief Gods, manifestations of Brahman, the underlying essence of the universe.

Fourth major deity Devi, combined attributes of all three in her varied forms.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Dooliya le aō
re morē babul ke kaharwa.
Chali hoon sajan ba ke des.

(O my father’s servants, bring my palanquin.
I am going to the land of my husband)

(A morning raga.)
Translation by Dipali Nag

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

If you ever go to the Kingdom of Kerry
You’ll see the lakes in Killarney,
The roses in Tralee,
And the Puck Fair in Killorglin.

Could anyone tell me did they ever go to a beautiful spot called Sneem,
And if you climb the Coonacille mountain and see the Leprechaun.
Then you’ll never see a poor day.


This was written by Kathleen O’Sullivan. Her father came from Moneyflugh, Sneem Co. Kerry, Ireland.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

I just read the two Asher Lev books by Chaim Potok, they offer a great insight into art and especially abstract art.

Educational notes from the book “The gift of Asher Lev by Chaim Potok.

Page 135

He talks here about art:

“… Art begins when someone interprets, when someone sees the world through his own eyes. Art happens when what is seen becomes mixed with the inside of the person who is seeing it. If an exciting new way of seeing an old object results, well, that’s interesting, isn’t it? That’s the beginning of serious art. Here, let me show you what I mean.”

I erased the rams. I looked carefully for a moment at Miss Sullivan: high cheekbones, thin straight nose, oval features, dark eyes, dark hair combed back flat into a French twist. “Here are the different ways three great modern artists would have seen and drawn the same person. The first one is an artist named Matisse.”

I wrote his name on the blackboard. Over the name I drew in a single continuous line with blue chalk the face of Miss Sullivan. It leaped, instantly recognizable, from the chalk onto the blackboard. There was a stirring throughout the room, and murmurs of surprise and recognition.

“The second is by an artist named Modigliani.”

I spelled out his name on the blackboard and in red chalk drew Miss Sullivan, high-necked and with exaggeratedly high cheekbones and almond-shaped eyes, emphasizing through the cylindricality of her neck the charm and refinement I sensed in her bearing.

“The third artist is Picasso. How many of you have heard of Picasso?” Hands went up. “Good. Almost as many as have heard of Asher Lev.” Rev Greenspan joined in the general laughter.

I wrote the Spaniard’s name on the blackboard, and I drew Miss Sullivan in ochre as he had once painted Gertrude Stein: solid, sculpted, Iberian, a creature more stone than flesh bur with eyes that penetrated into the farthest future. I looked over my shoulder and saw Miss Sullivan staring open-mouthed at the drawing. You thought of inviting me here, Miss Sullivan. The power of art, Miss Sullivan. On your young and lovely flesh.

“Three different ways of seeing the same person,” I said. “It makes life richer to be able to see different and exciting ways.

On pages 211 & 212 he discusses the technical language of art. I found this very educational, as someone who does not know very much about the theory of abstract painting:

“… Max and I talk for some while in the technical language of art – linear accents, surface patterns, passage, movement patterns, multiple centers of interest, distribution of space, bridging tension points, space and surface control, techniques of texturing, color movement, graphic balance. Max puts on his goggles, strikes a match, and touches the flame to the blowtorch. The torch spurts into life with a hard popping sound. I talk to him quietly as he works the carborundum over the surface of the plate, softening it with the flame, then spreading, smoothing, leveling, gouging, pitting, raising, lowering, streaking – so the thick paper will be alive with a textured surface that is a unity with its colors and forms…”

There is a reference to a book on page 296:

“Letters to His Son Lucien by Camille Pissaro”

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

... amach anseo = in future, or as they also say nowadays, "going forward".

gnáthduine = ordinary person

Saturday, August 01, 2009

A book called “My Name is Asher Lev” by Chaim Potok published by Penguin Books Copyright 1972

This was a very interesting book about a Jewish artist from Brooklyn, New York

It contained some interesting thoughts on Art.

For example on Page 197

The sculptor Jacob Kahn is talking to Asher Lev:

“… Asher Lev, there are two ways of painting the world. In the whole history of art, there are only these two ways. One is the way of Greece and Africa, which sees the world as a geometric design. The other is the way of Persia and India and China, which sees the world as a flower. Ingres, Cézanne, Picasso paint the world as geometry. Van Gogh, Renoir, Kandinsky, Chagall paint the world as a flower. I am a geometrician. I sculpt cylinders, cubes, triangles, and cones. The world is structure, and structure to me is geometry. I sculpt geometry. I see the world as hard-edged, filled with lines and angles. And I see it as wild and raging and hideous, and only occasionally beautiful. The world fills me with disgust more often than it fills me with joy. Are you listening to me, Asher Lev? The world is a terrible place. I do not sculpt and paint to make the world sacred. I sculpt and paint to give permanence to my feelings about how terrible this world truly is. Nothing is real to me except my own feelings; nothing is true except my own feelings as I see them all around me in my sculptures and paintings. I know these feelings are true, because if they were not true they would make art that is as terrible as the world….”

Page 220

Again here Jacob Kahn is teaching Asher Lev about art:

“… After breakfast, Jacob Kahn and I would set up our easels at the edge of the dunes and paint. He thought me how the Impressionists had painted light and what Cézanne had done with color and form. Once a sailboat came close to the shore and was circled by the gulls. Using washes of oils, he showed me how John Marin might have painted that. I had seen Marin’s watercolors in museums. Now I begun to understand their lines of tension, their fluidity and power.

I began to understand, too, though only with difficulty, why and how he painted as he did. The canvas was a two-dimensional field, he said. Any attempt to convert it to an object of three dimensions was an illusion and a falsehood. The only honest way to paint today was either to represent objects that were recognizable, and at the same time integral to the two-dimensional nature of the canvas, or to do away with objects entirely and create paintings of color and texture and form, paint the volumes and voids in nature into fields of color, paintings in which the solids were flattened and the voids were filled and the planes were organized into what Hans Hofmann called ‘complexes’. I watched him paint and began to understand what he meant. But I could not paint that way myself. I needed hands and faces and eyes, though for a while now I had not needed them to be three-dimensional.

‘You are too religious to be an Abstract Expressionist,’ he said to me one morning. ‘We are ill at ease in the universe. We are rebellious and individualistic. We welcome accidents in painting. You are emotional and sensual but you are also rational. That is your Ladover background. It is not in my nature to urge a person to give up his background and culture in order to become a painter. That is because it is not in my nature to be a fool. A man’s painting either reflects his culture or is a comment upon it, or it is merely decoration or photography. You do not have to be an Abstract Expressionist in order to be a great painter. In any event, by the time you reach your twenties Abstract Expressionism may be gone as a n important movement in American painting. Thought I do not think so. I think people will paint this way for a thousand years.’…”

On page 164 he gives some insight into the Jewish religion:

“… We studied about three kinds of Jews in the world: the rosho, the one who sins and has evil thoughts, whose efforts to live a good life are an endless struggle – most of us are in that category, the mashpia said sadly; the benoni, the one whose acts are without fault but who cannot control his thinking – very few achieve that high level, the mashpia said; and the tzaddik – a tzaddik can only be born, the mashpia said. It is the greatest gift of the Ribbono Shel Olom; yes, a tzaddik can only be born. Only tzaddikim have control over their hearts; the mashpia said, quoting the Midrash.

We studied the meaning of the verse in Deuteronomy, ‘But the thing is very near to you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it.’ What does the word very come to teach us? That the person whose understanding in the knowledge of the Master of the Universe is limited, who cannot comprehend the greatness of the blessed Being Without End, who cannot produce awe and love of God in his mind and understanding – such a person can nevertheless come to fear and love God through the observance of all the commandments of the Torah, for the commandments are very near to all Jews.

We studied the meaning of the verse of Proverbs ‘The candle of God is the soul of man.’ The souls of Jews are like the flame of a candle, the masphia said. The flame burns upwards; it seeks to be parted from the wick in order to unit with its source above, in the universal element of fire. Similarly, the soul of the Jew yearns to separate itself and depart from the body in order to unite with the Master of the Universe, even though this means that nothing will remain of its former nature as a distinct and separate entity. It is in the nature of the Jewish soul to desire this union with the Being Without End, unlike the souls of the Gentles, which are derived from the Other Side and which strive to remain independent beings and entities.

We studied about the sitar achra, the Other Side, the realm of darkness and evil given life by God not out of His true desire but in the manner of one who reluctantly throws something over his shoulder to an enemy, thereby making it possible for God to punish the wicked who help the sitra achra, and rewards the righteous who subjugate it….”

Visit my Homepage