From a certain point on, there is no more turning back. That is the point that must be reached.

Franz Kafka (Aphorisms)

मुझे बहुत पसंद है जब मैं सुबह उठुं और कुछ भी करने से पहले मेरे मन में हो कि यार वो किताब complete करनी है। जो किताबें बांध कर रख पाएं – उनका सुख ही अलग होता है। एक स्वाद छोड़ जाती हैं ये किताबें जिसे वापस चख लेने का बार बार मन होता है। Aphorisms ऐसी ही किताब है।

Kafka के Aphorisms इसलिए इतने पसंद आ रहे हैं क्यूंकि, पहला – ये contradictory हैं। मतलब कोई बात कह कर फिर उसी का opposite भी सत्य हो जाता है। दूसरा – लगभग हर aphorism अपना एक चक्र है जिसे पूरा करता है। और मैं खुद भी अपने लिखे में ये चीजें ढूंढने की कोशिश में रहता हूं तो बहुत पसंद आ रहे। साथ में, एक subtle humor मानो Kafka लिखते हुए खुद ही हल्के से हंसे होंगे और मुस्कुराते होंगे। नहीं भी अगर, तब भी महसूस यही होता है।

If it had been possible to build the Tower of Babel without having to climb it, that would have been sanctioned.
Tower of Babel स्वर्ग तक पहुँचने के लिए बनाया जा रहा था। जाहिर है तो ऊपर भी चढ़ना होगा। बाकी तो कहानी है फिर। पढ़ो जाके।

कहीं कहीं पर महसूस होता है एक दोस्त है – बहुत समझदार – और बहुत बारीक humor वाला – वो को कुछ उसने सच समझा है, उसे ऐसी मजेदार बातों के जरिए बता रहा है कि सुने बिना रहा नहीं जा सकता। और उसके जाने के बहुत देर बाद तक उसकी बातें सोचते हुए हम काम करते रहते हैं पर उसकी बातें मन के अंदर कुछ कुरेदती रहती हैं।

The truth is indivisible and is therefore incapable of recognizing itself; whatever claims to recognize it must therefore be a lie. 
खुद को पहचानने के लिए खुद से दूर जाना पड़ता है। पर सत्य को सत्य से दूर कैसे कर सकते हैं? तो सत्य खुद को कैसे पहचानेगा? अगर कोई कहता है कि सत्य ने खुद को पहचान लिया तो वो झूठ होगा।

तो अगर कुछ अच्छा पढ़ना है तो काफ्का के Aphorisms पढ़िए।

Leopards break into the temple and drink all the sacrificial vessels dry; it keeps happening; in the end, it can be calculated in advance and is incorporated into the ritual.
क्या हर ritual ऐसे ही नहीं बनता? पहले से सोचा जाता है कि कुछ होगा और फिर वो होता है और फिर वो एक ritual बन जाता है। 

The truth is indivisible and is therefore incapable of recognizing itself; whatever claims to recognize it must therefore be a lie. 
खुद को पहचानने के लिए खुद से दूर जाना पड़ता है। पर सत्य को सत्य से दूर कैसे कर सकते हैं? तो सत्य खुद को कैसे पहचानेगा? अगर कोई कहता है कि सत्य ने खुद को पहचान लिया तो वो झूठ होगा।

The decisive moment of human development is continually at hand. This is why those movements of revolutionary thought that declare everything preceding to be an irrelevance are correct—because as yet nothing has happened.The first indication of glimmering understanding is the desire to die. This life seems unendurable, another unreachable. One no longer feels ashamed of wanting to die; one petitions to be moved from one’s old cell, which one hates, into a new one, which one will come to hate. A last vestige of belief is involved here, too, for during the move might not the prison governor by chance walk down the passage, see the prisoner, and say: “Don’t lock this man up again. He’s coming with me.”

 

If you were walking across a plain, felt every desire to walk, and yet found yourself going backward, it would be a cause for despair; but as you are in fact scaling a steep precipice, as sheer in front of you as you are from the ground, then your backward movement can be caused only by the terrain, and you would be wrong to despair.

 

I have never been here before: my breath comes differently, the sun is outshone by a star beside it.

 

You are the exercise, the task. No student far and wide.

 

A man cannot live without a steady faith in something indestructible within him, though both the faith and the indestructible thing may remain permanently concealed from him. One of the forms of this concealment is the belief in a personal god.

 

Everything is deception: the question is whether to seek the least amount of deception, or the mean, or to seek out the highest. In the first instance, you will cheat goodness by making it too easy to acquire, and Evil by imposing too unfavorable conditions on it. In the second instance, you cheat goodness by failing to strive for it in this earthly life. In the third instance, you cheat goodness by removing yourself from it as far as you can, and Evil by maximizing it in a bid to reduce its impact. Accordingly, the second option is the one to go for, because you always cheat goodness, but—in this case at least, or so it would seem—not Evil.

 

He has the feeling that merely by being alive he is blocking his own way. From this sense of hindrance, in turn, he deduces the proof that he is alive.

 

Some deny the existence of misery by pointing to the sun; he denies the existence of the sun by pointing to misery.

 

He proves nothing but himself, his sole proof is himself, all his opponents overcome him at once but not by refuting him (he is irrefutable), but by proving themselves.

 

 

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