In the first couple of months of 1996, triggered by the occasion of the
Bendre Shatamanotsava, SCIK witnessed a large number of articles
and discussions on literature and poetry in particular. A large measure
of credit must go to C.P. RaviKumar who was an incredibly positive
influence on SCI and SCIK. In memory of that golden age of SCIK, here
are a few posts that appeared during that time. These will be here
temporarily until I manage to organise them in different pages.
Venkatesha Prasad wrote:
>Ramachandra Srivatsa wrote:
>> iLidu baa thayi iLidu baa
>> iLidu baa thayi iLidu baa
>> harana jadey-inda
>> hariya adi-inda
>> rushiya thodey-inda nusuLi baa
>In the story of GangAvatarana that I know, gange starts from hari, then harana
>jadey, and then rushi's ear(hence the name janhavi to gange). But, in the above
>poem we see hara, hari and rushi in that order. Also it says
> rushiya thodey-inda nusuLi baa
>Is it true in our mythology? Is there any parallel story of gange coming from
>rushi's thigh rather than his ear? Or is it one more instance of Bendre taking
>liberty to play with the language?
>I am not sure where I have read, but I remember SumatIndra Nadig's comment on
>this poem as "A beautiful poem to sing with lot of meaning less lines".
Well, one can view this poem from many angles. Poet knows what he is writing
and what he really wants to convey and the theme, many times it reflects the
poets state of mind, general situation, state of society. As a reader we often
fail to understand the situation, theme behind this. If you seriously think,
words/lines of any language are useless until unless one puts them in a meaning
full pattern. Many times we think that poems having tough words/phrases are
good poems. This particular poem from Bendre is a 'neeLa paDya'(this is a
particular category in poems!), often you find such lengthy peoms in this
category(the stress would be more the word/lines patterns), but the poem has
more strength, while listening to this song even a layman can feel the emotion,
often feels that he himself is praying to the godess 'Ganga'.
Bendre had his own unique style of reading his own poems, probably it would
made much more sense if we had heard from Bendre itself!!!.
'TUSHARA' monthly kannada magazine is celebrating Bendre's centenary year by
printing everymonth special features on Bendre by poets well known to Bendre.
This month(Jan'96)it was by Dr. Amoor.
email@example.com feb 96
Da. Ra. Bendre.
eshTu maraa ashTu tharaa
beejadaaga aDagiddu bayalige banda bartad
ade ade ade androo
bere idde irtada
hUvinoLaga iro vaasani
novinoLagU ommomme toratada
hiDitakka sigada haaratada
benna hatti haarabeko
hejji suLuvu hattodilla
yaavudo hoara seratada
ujje ujjatevi mabbina makku
idda iratada kattali kecchu
kicchu aagatada nUru nucchu
haanga baLi, hInga eLi
hyaanga hyaango baNNada suLi
phakkana mooDatada yaavudo mukha
namaga naava irodilla
gaaLi oLaga haaratiro
yaavudanna yaavudu hiDitado/
vyavahaara hyaanga naDItado
noolige noolu kooDatada
bhaavadaaga bhaava mooDatada
guddali monI selI chimmi
chak anta citristada
maratu hoda kanasina myaalina
berabiTTu byaare iratada enu
kannaDi ambodu beka yaaka
neera byaare neraLa byare
padara biTTu sadarilla
nidhi-vidhi byaare alla
D H Kulkarni Feb 96
I will follow this with a few kavanas, as promised.
naa kavanaa post maadteni anta heLiddu khare. aadra, sari hottige
maadlikke aagalilla, kshama maadri. mattenripa, varshagaTTale
bisi-bisi idda Bendre kavana, onda varadaaga taNNagaagthad
enu? matta nanaga, namma suDagaaDu library oLaga onda pustaka
siktu, ashTaka, sadhyakka hoTTi thaNNaga maDkoLri.
How was that for a sample of Dharwad kannada. Ajja spoke very
close to that. In high school he said, 'makkaLa, neeva hinga
summana kootra badiki iddeeri anta henga gottagabeku', outspoken ajja.
My brother said, the function in dharwad was grand, and
siddalinga pattanashetti spoke on 'bendre mattu olavu'. Hope
he sends me an extract of the speech.
--di ech kay
'datta' anata bandaa.
tirugo kaalaa tirugabeku
harago hridaya haragabeku
'alakh niranjana' karagabeku
yuga yugadaaga paakamaaDi
hUvina pakaLi naaka maaDi
daana illaga datta illa
dhyana illada gatta illa
ninna biTTu matta illa
baa hokkaLadi.ndaa, hee.nga
DHK Jan 96
firstname.lastname@example.org (C. P. Ravikumar) writes:
> Got you there, didn't I?! Well, I don't believe Bendre wrote
> any novels. But he did write a play.
Apparently, Bendre had indeed started out writing a novel, but gave up
after finishing one chapter. Here's how it happened:
Dr. U. R. Ananthamurthy's book 'poorvApara' has an article on Bendre
titled 'yugada kavi'. In that he talks about the mid-summer
get-togethers of some of these young 'navya' writers and critics, like
Ananthamurthy, Jayanta Kaykini, Sumateendra Nadig, T.G. Raghava among
others. They used to assemble in the first floor room of Sham. Bha.
Joshi's house in Dharwad and discuss such esoteric subjects as
'sAhitya mattu rasAswAdane', while 'aaswaad'ing the 'rasa' of fresh
mangoes supplied by a generous Joshi. Bendre used to be the guest of
honour in some of these meetings, because apart from being a localite,
he was the only older generation poet who commanded respect from the
'navya' brigade. For most of these new generation poets (in the 50's and
60's) with the socialistic fire in the belly, poetry had to atleast
reflect the society, if not reform it. Thus, the highly-sanskritised
works of older poets like Kuvempu, Putina, V.See et al were either too
grand or too bland for them. But, Bendre with his mystic poetry and a
rich imagery, endeared himself to them.
Anyway, to come back to the point of this post, in one of those
meetings, Bendre read out the first chapter of his unfinished
novel. The story goes something like this: Male and female
protagonists of the story fall in love. But theirs is a Platonic love
without any hint of desires. By the end of the first chapter, they
have a son, a 'maanasa putra', born without sexual union.
Apparently, when Bendre showed this first chapter to Masti, he
commented, "Let their love be pure and all that... But if you want
them to have a child, atleast let them have sex, even if it is without
their knowledge or something like that".
Ananthamurthy says, this episode not only contrasts the viewpoints of
two great kannada writers, it also puts in perspective the basic
difference between poetry and novel. While novel, by definition, has
to confine itself within the realm of possibility, if not reality,
poetry has no such limitations. Hence, Masti, a novelist by nature,
can't quite accept the flights of fancy that Bendre, a poet, wanted
to bring in to novel.
Dr. URA goes on to say that if Bendre had actually completed the
novel, it would probably have been kannada's first 'absurd' novel,
somewhat like Gabriel Marquis' "One Hundred Years in Solitude".
mohan das jan 96
email@example.com (C. P. Ravikumar) wrote:
>"shankar n. swamy" writes:
>>... chitti mali tatti haakutittu
>> swati muttinolagaa
>>`sattiyoah maganaah' antha koogidaru
>> savee magalu, bavee magalu koodi
>These are lines from Bendre's "nAku tanti,"
>from the collection of the same name
>which won him the Jnanpith award.
Yep! it came back to me!! (Rather, you brought it back to me - thanks!)
The beginning is even better:
Aavu eevina naavu neevige
aanu thaanada thanana
chaaru tantirya charana charana da
ghana ghanitha madura swana
atavo hithavo aah anahutha
mithige ithige thananana
benninanake janan jaanake
("aavu eeyuvudu" referring to a cow delivering its calf!
"naavu neevige" referring to a boat getting into water -
"naave neerige ilisidaru" is a cliche in kannada ...)
>"nAku tanti" is a difficult collection.
Indeed it is! (In some sense it is like solving problems in JD Jackson's
electrodynamics book:-) First time I read "naku tanti" it ate up several
weeks of my summer vacation.
>Take for example the lines you have quoted.
>The first two lines are beautiful imagery --
>I can picture drops of rain falling into
>the sea, and transforming into pearls.
>But what do the next two lines mean
>and how do the relate to the previous two lines?
If I can get a copy of the poem, I will post my interpretation
> Bendre's later poems were difficult to comprehend.
Indeed! He took a lot of "poetic licenses" and stretched the language - at
times with the help of more languages than one!
>PS: What is "chitti" in Dharwar Kannada? Is it
>a transformation of "swati?"
Chitte, like Swati, is one of the twenty-sven stars associated with
the tewnty-seven days (roughly) of the month. Chitte male is known for
drizzling continuously ( "chitte male chittu hidisbiduthae ..."). Often
referred to as "kurudu chitte" that it blindly keeps drizzling without
bothering to care for the concerns of the people. Swathi is another story.
The saying goes that if a rain drop during Swathi falls into a sea shell that
will turn into a pearl. That is how pearls are formed, supposedly :-):-)
My interpretation is that "chitti male tatti hakuvudu" refers to (1) the
persistent drizzling (`thatti' to denote `drizzle', tottikkuvudu), and taken
with the next line, refers to an early phase of conceiving a grandiose event
that may or may not, but potentially could happen. The "event" here
is life itself - that may or may not blossom into a grandiose one! It's at the
early part of life: boy, with a potentially grandiose life ahead
of him, playing in the rain .... ...
And now for a moment of fantasy: It would be intersting to read an article
on "Bendre mathu Ramanujan": on how Ramanujan brought similar effects
by resorting to meter and to similie, metaphor, antithesis and other
figures of speech - all with a language that reads ever so easy, while Bendre
often twisted the language to get his effects.
- shankar swamy
firstname.lastname@example.org jan 96
Love in Kannada Poems
Valentine's day is around the corner and love is in the air.
Quite literally. When I was walking to my office, I saw
red, yellow, green and blue balloons in the air with hearts
painted on them. The supermarkets and candy sotres have
displayed chocolates wrapped up in fancy, glittering wraps.
Radio stations are playing love songs. Malls are taking
people for a jolly ride with 15 hour sales, where bewildered
men and women are looking for the right present for their
In the demonstrative western culture, love, like many other
things, is for display. Buying flowers, candy, cards, and
presents are considered the right thing to do on Valentine's
day. Husbands will look foolish if they don't bring home
a red rose and heart-shaped candies. As I write, wives are
spending enormous amounts of time baking heart-shaped cookies
and glazing them with raspberry tart. Boyfriends are
scratching their heads and looking everywhere for inspiration
for that love poem which begins "Roses are red, violets are blue,"
and ends with "I love you."
The people of Karnataka are less demonstrative in their love
for their loved ones. Not surprisingly, most poets
have written more poems about philosophical themes
than about love!
Perhaps MuddaNa was the first to break the ice and write about
his tete-a-tete with his wife Manorame. In the first work
of its kind, MuddaNa wrote "Adbhuta RamayaNa" using a
mix of prose and poetry, and the prose part is spotted
with the conversations between him and Manorame.
On a rainy evening, when MuddaNa comes home after his
day at the Palace, where he works as a scholar and story-teller,
Manorame greets him with fruits and cold milk.
She pesters him to tell her a story. It has been raining
the whole day, and a story is just what you need to
drive the boredom away. MuddaNa demands a royalty in return.
"What can *I* give you? I will give myself to you."
"Not so fast, girl! Your father gave you away to me several
After similar arguements, it is decided that MuddaNa will tell
the story in parts, each day, every day, and the royalty will be given
*after* the completion of the story. After all, says Manorame,
it is the custom even in the Palace to honour the scholar after
he finishes the story. When MuddaNa begins his story in Sanskrit,
Manorame stops him in between his first sentence.
"Whoa! Wait just a minute! What's this?"
"The story, of course!"
"In what language, I pray?"
"In the divine language, Sakkada (Samskrita)"
"Great! You are stuffing an apple turnover into a throat that
can't drink plain water."
"What do you mean?"
"I mean, I can barely follow your scholarly Kannada, and golly,
you have started off the story in Samskrita!"
Next they argue on whether the story will be related in prose or
poetry. MuddaNa resolves the issue by choosing to tell most
of the story in prose, interspersed with poetry, "like the
jeweller who intersperses red corals in a necklace of black beads."
Kuvempu was far more bold in his love poems. He wrote several
love poems, and "Prema Kashmira" is a collection of his love
poems. His novel "malegaLalli madumagaLu" became controversial
for its explicit descriptions of love making.
"yAva janmada maitri, E janmadali bandu
nammibbaranu matte bandhisihudO kaNe!"
"It must be a friendship of some previous life that brings us
together in this one," the poet wonders. He then ponders
about how love is still the under current in the endless sea
of life, the surface of which is marred with many violent tides.
vyartha jigyAseyali kAlaharaNavadEke?
bArayya mama bandhu, jIvana pathadoLAvu
"Let's not get bogged down with all that philosophy
And waste these precious moments, my friend,
Come hither, and let's carry on our journey
On this road of life, together in its every bend."
Da Ra Bendre wrote several love poems. A collection called
"olave namma baduku" classifies his love poems under different
headings, such as "love between man and woman" and
"love between man and god," and so on.
"olavemba hottigeya-nOda bayasuva nInu
beleyeshtu endu kElutihe huchcha!
hagaliruLu dudidarU, halajanuma kaLedarU
tettalareyo bariya anche vechcha!"
"You inquire the price, of the book called love,
I must say you are ignorant, my dear!
You can work all day for more lives than one,
And you can't pay for the *stamps*, I fear!"
Forget candy, flowers, and cards! According to Bendre, love is
such a priceless thing, you cannot buy love even if you work
day and night for many life times. And a man can please
his woman with the simplest of gifts:
"tandEni ninagenda tumbi turubinavaLa
kAma kastUriya teniyonda!"
"Here, my girl, to adorn your bee-dark tresses,
I bring a leaf of kAma kastUri."
The poet sees love in nature. The sun's unfulfilled desire to
unite with the moon is captured in the poem "ananta praNaya"
"bhUrangake abhisArake kareyuta
tingaLu tingaLu naveyutide.
tumbuta tuLukuta tIruta tannoLu
tAne saviyanu saviyutide."
`The blue Earth is where they have planned
Their sweet redezvous
Month after month with much ado.
But the Moon is a teaser,
She enjoys the chase
More than saying "I do."'
Narasimhaswamy is perhaps the best known love-poet in modern Kannada
literature. His "mysooru mallige" attained instant popularity
when it was published, and has since been reprinted dozens of times.
He followed the collection with several others such as
"iruvantige" and "deepada malli." He was deeply influenced
by the love poems of Robert Burns, and has, in fact, translated
some of the poems of Burns.
"hattu varushada hinde muttUru tErinali
"Weren't you the one who carried me on your shoulders in the village fair
ten years ago?" asks the heroine of the poem "nIvallave?"
It was (and is) not uncommon in Karnataka for a man to
marry his sister's daughter. The above lines are perhaps
a reference to a boy who took his sister's daughter around in a
fair when both of them were small children. They were later
joined by holy matrimony! Kuvempu writes about how, when he
was a child, he travelled on a dark and stormy night
from one village to another, to the naming ceremony of his
wife! He was the one who named his wife "Indira!"
The tete-a-tete between a husband and his wife are the subject of
several love poems of Narasimhaswamy.
"nammUru chandavO nimmUru chandavO
endenna kELalEke? ennarasa, summaniri endaLake!"
"Don't put me in a dilemma,
Asking me which town is nicer,
My town or yours;
Hush darling! What can I answer?"
Narasimhaswamy has also translated into Kannada several love sonnets
of Shakespeare, including "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day..."
The love between Krishna and Radhe have inspired a number of Kannada
poets. Kuvempu writes,
"brindAvanake hAlanu mAralu
hOguva bAre, bEga sakhi!
brindAvanadali hAlanu koLLalu
"Come on dearest, let's hurry on and go
To Brindavana; we have milk to sell.
Who awaits in Brindavana to buy milk from us?
O moon-faced one, pray tell!"
These lines bring to our mind the picture of a pretty maiden
(perhaps Radha) who is eager to meet Krishna at Brindavana
in the guise of selling milk.
Pu Thi Na, or P.T. Narasimhachar, writes:
"hottAre hore-gelasa mikkare migali
pakkada nerehore nakkare nagali
brindAvanadOL lAlisirO muraLi!
krishNana koLalina kare!"
A maiden in Brindavana, who has been enchanted by Krishna's
flute, is eager to meet Krishna.
"A whole day's work lies in front of me,
And perhaps my neighbors laugh at my ways.
But do I care? I am enchanted by his flute!
Just listen! Those notes Krishna plays!"
Of course, our film song writers have to write about
love, passion, separation, and reunion all the time.
While churning out lyrics for the specified tune is no
mean task, our poets have given us many memorable lines
about love. Being no expert on film songs, I would
rather request someone like Mahesh to write about them.
On "Avva" -- a poem by Lankesh
"Avva" and "Avva II" are two poems by Lankesh. The second poem
was written twenty six years after "Avva" was received with
great enthusiasm by the critics. The first poem is a tribute
to his mother, a rustic woman who lived an uncomplicated life.
The second is a continuation of the first poem, where the poet
ponders how much of his mother is still alive in him after he
has live a civilized life in the city for so many years.
"Avva" was written when the poet lost his mother. The poem
begins by comparing mother to mother earth. "nannavva
phalavattAda kappu nela" -- my mother is fertile black land.
The poet remembers how physically strong his mother once was.
She once lifted an entire "palla" of corn and won the appreciation of her
husband, who bought her an ornament for her shoulders.
She was a peasant woman, who spent most of her life
farming. Her youth was spent in a torn saree.
And now that she is gone, the poet reflects, how old was she?
How many times did she celebrate the new year, baking
hOlige in front of her earthen stove? How many times
did she shed tears -- for money, for a crop that was destroyed,
for a calf that died. How many times did she go chasing after
a buffalo that ran away?
She was not a Savitri, Seethe, or UrmiLe. She was not the
placid, pretty, and serious women we come across in History.
She was unlike the wives of Gandhiji and Ramakrishna [Paramahamsa].
She did not worship Gods. She did not listen to stories
from the puraNa. She did not wear vermillon on her
forehead even when her husband was live and kicking!
What was she then?
"banada karadiya hAge
chikka makkaLa hottu
gandanna sAkidaLu kAsu gantikkidaLu
nonda nAyiya hAge baidu, goNagi, guddADidaLu"
She lived like a wild bear. She had small children to rear.
She had her huband to care. She counted her pennies and made a
bundle. Like a dog that was kicked, she barked, complained,
and faught her life through.
All her pettiness was not without reason. She had to care for
her family. She would not tolerate if her son was falling into
bad habit or if her husband was cheating on her.
maga kettare, ganDa bEre kaDe hOdAga mAtra"
She did not know what the Bhagavadgita was. All she cared for was
for her meagre possessions, her farming, her children, a roof
on top, a square meal, a warm blanket, and respectful living
among the fellowfolk.
"ivaLige mechhuge, kritagyateya kaNNeeru:
hettaddakke, sAkiddakke; maNNalli baduki
maneyinda holakke hOdante
taNNage mAtaduttalE horatuhodaddakke"
"I shed tears of gratitude and praise.
For having given me the gift of life, for bringing me up.
For having lived in the soil
And for having silently departed
Like she were going from her home to her farmland."
C.P. Ravikumar jan 96
In Search of Talent
Talking of the "Bendre Shatamanotsava" reminds me of the
Inter-Collegiate Poetry contest held annually
by the Kannada Sangha of Christ College. The
tradition began since the death of our poet
Bendre (1982?). Each year, Kannada poems of ten college
students are selected by a well known poet/critic
and these are published by the Kannada Sangha.
The title of the first such collection was
"avaru beLesida gidagaLu," after a poem included
in the collection. The poem talked of young
poets as plants nurtured by Bendre (or his
Other than the poetry contest, the Kannada Sangha
of Christ College holds an annual essay-writing
contest. I think this tradition goes back to
1976. Three Kannada essays are selected each year, and
published as a booklet. These booklets are
distributed free, just as the collection of
award-winning poems from the poetry contest.
The Christ College Kannada Sangha has carved
a niche for itself in the annals of Kannada
literature. Many other Kannada Sanghas from
other colleges have tried to follow the example
of CCKS. The spirit behind CCKS is Chi Srinivasa Raju,
Professor in the Kannada Department at Christ College.
It is with deepest regards that I write about
"Raju Meshtru," as he is known among his young
followers. His tireless enthusiasm for talent
search is awe-inspiring. I believe it is now
more than 25 years since CCKS has been publishing
Kannada books. A rare achievement for a College
Kannada Sangha! These books are priced at
the cost of publication. If you meet Srinivasa Raju,
he will pull out a few of the latest publications
from his cotton bag on his shoulder and stuff them
into your hands. And then he will speak enthusiastically
about a new publication project that he wishes to
A number of modern Kannada poets were discovered
and nourished by Srinivasa Raju and CCKS.
Pratibha Nandakumar, Tejaswini Niranjana, and
H.S. Shivaprakash to name a few. Being published
by CCKS is today considered an honor, just like
being published by Akshara Prakashana or
Manohara Granthamala are considered reputable.
Over 100 titles have been published so far
by CCKS, not including student poetry and
essay collections. Among these books is
the autobiography of Prof. H. Narasimhaiah.
Most of the publications are collections of
poetry and crtical essays by up coming writers.
Meeting Srinivasa Raju never fails to inspire
someone interested in Kannada literature.
His enthusiasm has rubbed off on several other
younger colleagues. For example, "Pratibha
Yuva Vedike" is a youth organization which
is doing similar work of identifying talented
writers and encouraging them to write.
N. Ravikumar, who runs PYV, is a young writer
himself and, apart from his regular job
in a factory, engages himself in umpteen
literary activities. Under the auspices of PYV,
he organizes many events -- discussion groups,
seminars, poetry readings, and much more!
To me, Srinivasa Raju and N. Ravikumar are
symbols of hope for Kannada. There are many
other selfless workers who work tirelessly
towards the cause of our language, without
waiting for grants and funds from the
Government. May their tribe increase!
C.P. Ravikumar jan 96
Sutikshn Kumar had sent this article to me when I was hoping
to put together an Electronic Kannada magazine. Since the
magazine appears to be a distant reality, I am posting
the article. Please direct any comments to Sutikshn Kumar.
I hope the signal level of SCIK will improve with
a discussion on Samskara and other Kannada novels.
Samskara : An appreciation
L2.34, Computer Engineering Group,
Dept. of Elec and Electronic Engg,
The University of Melbourne,
221, Bouvarie Street, VIC-3053
Most of you may be aware that U.R. Anantha Murthy won the Gnanapeetha
award for the year 1994. His novel Samskara should be remembered for
its valuable contribution to Kannada literature. Its plot revolves
around the plague epidemic which, incidentally, made a come back
in India the same year Anantha Murthy received the award! Prof Murthy
wrote this novel when he was pursuing his PhD in England. I met him on a
flight to Delhi. He has a charismatic personality. Coming from a
conservative Brahmin family, he married a christian girl. Anantha Murthy
was an English Professor in Mysore University and served as the Vice
Chancellor of Mahatma Gandhi University in Kerala. He also served
as the chair person on the Sahitya Academy. Samskara was made into a
film and won national awards. The film starred Girish Karnad.
Some of his well known works of UR Ananth Murthy are:
1. Bara, which also made into a national award-winning film by
M.S. Sathyu, starring Ananth Nag.
"Samskara" can mean several things -- it stands for cremation of
a dead body; ironically, it also stands for reformation.
Narayanappa, a brahmin, dies in the house of an untouchable
prostitute. The villagers are in a dilemma about who should
perform the cremation. Should his body should be cremated by brahmins?
Or should this be left harijans? Brahmins feel that since Narayanappa
died in a harijan's house, he should be cremated by harijans. Harijans
are scared to cremate a brahmin; they feel a brahmin can only
be cremated by brahmins. The village brahmins cannot eat until
they cremate the body! Soon bubonic plague breaks out in the village.
Anantha Murthy examines the cultural values in this light.
He builds up the characters of Narayanappa and Praneshachari,
two village brahmins. While Praneshachari sticks seriously to
old cultural values, Narayanappa deviates from these values.
He eats meat and lives with a harijan prostitute.
Reading this novel in a western country was a new experience
for me. What we take for granted in Karnataka appears very
amusing. One cannot imagine how one can live with so many
rules and regulations.
One of the most memorable situations in the novel is
when one of the brahmins in the village cannot tolerate
his hunger and goes to a neighboring village in search
of food. He is seated in a line meant for brahmins during
lunch. When he is about to put food into his mouth (thuththu!)
a neighbour recognizes him. "Oh ! Are you from the next village
where Narayanappa died yesterday?" The brahmin hurriedly leaves!
The plot of the novel puts brahmins to their ultimate test.
Whether to cremate the body? Plague and hunger are two serious
factors which put severe pressure on them to deviate from their norm.
The novel makes one ponder about each situation
and Murthy's work is commendable.
Similar novels which pushed the cultural values are Grahana (by
S.L. Bhairappa) where harijans become brahmins for a day and one of
them dies the same day. The question arises as to who should cremate him.
The topic of plague has been a central theme in S.L.Bairappa's
Original Kannada Poem by Jayanta kaikiNi
Translated by C.P. Ravikumar
Last vacation out of curiosity
I visited my grandma
Who lives in a wee corner
Among the hills, all by herself.
There was dampness everywhere,
And leeches and smoke,
I sat amidst these
Nibbling at a snack
That grandma made out of jack fruit.
Grandma then quietly asked me -
Why, little one,
They say you write only poems
Now a days?
I said yes,
Like I had sacrificed my soul.
Tell me, how much it pays.
Does it suffice? She probed.
I laughed heartily
A villainous laugh.
Grandma you are so naive!
And became a youth hero of sorts.
She was neither embarrassed nor angry.
With no hard feelings she inquired
About family and friends.
Wept when I mentioned the dead.
Smiled lovingly when I spoke of the living.
Found my progress awesome.
He should 've been here to see this,
She should 've been here to see this,
She unfolded her book of memories
And shed tears.
I may not survive this rainy season, she said
And fed me sweet yellow florets from the jack fruit
That came off the old tree.
Your father and mother 've seen some rough times,
Don't you get angry with them, remember,
Keep them happy, she repeated.
On the day of my departure,
My grandma, the loner in the big old house,
Ran her hands through my hair
You have come in the form of your grandfather,
She said, and made me eat and eat some more
Before finally saying goodbye.
28 Feb 1996
bArisu kannDa DinDimava
bArisu kannaDa DinDimava
O karnATaka hR^idaya shiva
kachchADuvaranu kUDisi olisu
hoTTeya kichchige taNNIr surisu
oTTige bALuva teradali harasu
kshayise shivEtara kR^itikR^itiyalli
mUDali mangaLa matimatiyalli
kavi R^ishi santara AdaR^ishadali
Pavanaja U.B.Oct 96
In Dharwad, they celebrated Bendre's 101th birthday. The chief
visitor from outside Dharwad was Bannanje Govindacharya.
Vamanrao Bendre, Keertinath Kurthkoti and enKe are the others
names my brother mentioned.
This year's talks seem to focus on 'daarshanikate' in
his poems. What would be the right English word for it?
They focused on how Bendre played with words, word meanings,
and very subtle word splits to convey a much deeper
meaning. My brother attended the functions (what with
Bendre's house 2 crosses away :-) ) Oh the perks of being
sad, the Bendre smaaraka building is not yet complete. THey
need 16 lakhs more for museum inside etc. Apparently
they have to wait for the next budget. Have you seen it?
It is coming up real beautiful.
So much for news for now.
--di ech kay Feb 1997 DH Kulkarni
I will follow this posting some of my favourite poems by
-- Gangathanaya Datta :)