Evening Raga

Thursday, 02 November 2006

Today, on the way back home I stopped at Ankita pustaka, the book shop on DVG Road in Basavanagudi.

I was planning to buy A.na.kru’s sandhyaraaga for some time now.
Sandhyaraga is a classic kannada novel with a social theme written in 1935 dealing with the life of a singer.
The film sandya raga is based on the same book. Rajkumar played the role of the protagonist.

However, what got me interested in Sandhya Raga is a mention of the book on Beechi( a very popular comedy writer) – ‘bulletsu, bombsu, bhagavadgeete’. In fact, beechi’s whole contribution to kannada can be attributed to this one book(sandhya raga).

Beechi was a Police officer in the British government. He was apathetic to everything kannada. But, one day, he was stuck with this book while traveling and he read it with tears welling up in his eyes. The book moved him so much that, he decided to ‘scribble’ all that he knew in kannada in his life time.

So, this one book gave us one of our greater comedy writers of our time. It is this power of kannaDa writing that moves me, inspires me.

I bought three more books

ella ballavarilla – a kannada translation of HY Sharada prasad’s – `The book I wont be writing and other essays’. Sharada prasad was a senior bureaucrat, who served with three prime ministers and was an editor with Indian Express. He is also a kannadiga. I had read good reviews about this book in vijaya karnataka(?).

sanchaya an anthology of poems by da.ra.bendre(dattatreya ramachandra bendre).

A collection of popular keerthanes by purandara dasa – the father of karnataka sangeetha (also known as carnatic music).
I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had heard most of the keerthanas I randomly browsed through. My father even recalls having sung song in a play duing his school days. And to add to the fun, I’m hearing “giLiyu panjaradoLilla”, a composition of purandara dasa, from the movie Amrutadhare being played on DVD downstairs :)

Many more such surprises were in store today. The ella ballavarilla book is dedicated to ‘Ahobala Shankara’, who translated many Bengali classics to kannada. I read the kannada translation of the Bengali classic ‘saheb, bibi aur gulam’ when I was in middle school.

It is one of the books that left a great impression on me. Oh! the joy of reading :)

Note: Ankita pustaka is giving 10–15% discount on all kannada books you buy this year, if you purchase more Rs200/- worth of books.

Happy reading. Dont forget to share your favourite kannada books, the ones that left a great impression on you.

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