Proverb of the Month
by Nic Olson
Short and incredibly wise. No, not Danny Devito. Proverbs, or just famous quotes. Usually those short ones are better (TWSS*) than long drawn out pieces of work. You can find millions of cheeseball and/or wiseball sayings all over the place. In India especially; you can buy really nice 4’x6 posters of Bollywood stars, cricket masters, maps, fruit trays, epic scenery, great architecture, a vase of flowers . Usually with any of these you’ll get a zinger of a proverb to set you straight. For example on a friend’s computer desktop, “Anyone can be at the helm when the sea is calm.”
Or on a beautiful bouquet poster in the house of a steel worker who doesn’t speak English,
“When all else fails, the future still remains.”
Or a poster of a giant city in the desert, “What men call civilization, always ends up as dust”.
Or in computer store office, “Service without reward is punishment.” This one I had I hard time grasping. Should I have rewarded the man serving us, or was he supposed to reward us…?
Or on a mans Tshirt in Assam, “Recyclers do it over and over.”
These all have unknown authors. Think of how famous I could be if I became the unknown author of a poster worthy quote.
So I want to begin writing these. One daily is bound to produce a few wise as hell proverbs.
Here’s my first crack at it.
“If hell exists, then there is nothing wiser than hell. If hell doesn’t exist then there is nothing wiser than the person who invented it.”
Hell yeah! I literally just made that up. That is amazing. Most famous quotes and proverbs would usually have a few wise words surrounding the famous quote said at the time of the quote. But that’s not for me. I can compact all that 20 year old wisdom in one single contextless proverb.
I think India loves them so much because they’ve had some of the most quotable people in history in their history. Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Hanuman the monkey boy god, Shah Rukh Khan, and soon enough Nic Olson.
And apparently, according to the back of some book I saw at the book store, this is what Mark Twain said about India.
“India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend and the great grandmother of tradition.”
Suck it, Danny Boyle.
PS I still haven’t seen that movie.
*that’s what she said.