Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A true grass-roots level writer

A true grass-roots level writer
Bangalore, Sep 19, DHNS:

For Dr Chandrashekhara Kambar, winning awards and receiving accolades is a routine affair. Yet, getting the Jnanpith award, which is considered the highest literary award, is something unique.

“I am happy and my readers too are happy. To be frank, I had anticipated the Jnanpith award. But I am unable to express the extent of my happiness, now that it has finally happened,” he said, while interacting with reporters at his house ‘Siri Sampige’ in Katriguppe on Monday evening.

Kambar also said that Kannada should get more Jnanpith awards. “There is no dearth of subject matter. This is the advantage of the language. Meaningful works, giving new dimensions to the literary field, are being published even today,” he said.

While talking about the challenges faced by new age writers, he said, “The new challenges we face should be reflected in our writings. I always keep thinking about the new challenges and youngsters. At the same time, I also think about the rural masses and their expectations”.

Kambar said that he could not rate any of his works as the best. “A writer will stop writing if he assumes that his work has achieved a level of satisfaction. You may call it selfishness, but none of my works have given me complete satisfaction. Hence, I continue to write.”

When asked where he gets his subjects for his works, despite writing for the last four decades, he said: “Writing is my mode of expression. Except writing, I do not know anything else.”

The news which instantly sparked off a celebration in the literary fraternity had colleagues, well-wishers, friends and family of Kambar drowning him with congratulatory messages.

Play on Veerappan
Kambar surprised everyone gathered by saying he wanted to write a play about forest brigand Veerappan next. When asked why, he said that the present circumstances make him wonder whether the “Veerappans” were in the forests or in the Vidhana Soudha. “Hence, I want to make him my next subject,” he jested.

Kambar said his desire was to see the day when the government provided Kannada medium education from standard I to X, and also established a university which gave education from anganwadi to post-graduation level in all the streams.

Humble beginning
The 74-year-old Kambar, born in Ghodageri village of Belgaum district, was keenly interested in folk arts, local culture and language as such from his early age. He is truly a knowledge seat of literature. His uniqueness is using north Karnataka dialect of Kannada in his works - both poems and plays. He is popularly known as ‘Shivapur Kambar Masther’ in his native district. Kambar had his schooling in Gokak and higher education at Lingaraj College, Belgaum. He did his post-graduation and PhD from Karnatak University, Dharwad. After a brief stint in teaching in University of Chicago, he taught in Bangalore University for two decades. He was a Fulbright scholar. The awards and honour he received include Padmashri in 2001, Sahitya Akademi award in 1991, Kalidas Samman, Kabir Samman and Pampa award.

Kambar was the chairman of National School of Drama from 1996 and 2000 and the president of Karnataka Nataka Academy from 1980 to 1983. The credit of becoming the first vice- chancellor of Kannada University in Hampi goes to him. He is not just a folklorist, but also a poet par excellence, novelist and researcher. He is described by critiques as a natural poet.

He has the credit of introducing Bailahongal’s famous ‘Sangya Balya’ (Bayalata) and ‘Jokumaraswamy’, a traditional ritual of his native taluk, to the literary world. He has to his credit 22 plays, eight anthologies of poems, three novels, 12 research works and several scholarly write-ups on folk theatre, literature and education.

Some of his major works include the recently released play ‘Shivaratri’. ‘Narcissus’, ‘Jokumaraswamy’, ‘Alibaba’, ‘G K Mastarara Pranaya Prasanga’, ‘Kasigondu Seru’, ‘Singarevva Mattu Aramane’, ‘Huliya Neralu’ and ‘Karimaayi’ (both made into movies) and ‘Siri Sampige’ are his other well-known works. Kambar has directed a number of movies based on the plays written by him. ‘Karimaayi’, ‘Sangeeta’ and ‘Kadu Kudure’ are some of his major films as director. He has also adopted his play ‘G K Mastara Pranaya Prasanga’ for television. Kambar has produced several documentaries for the State and Central governments.
 Writers shower praises on Kambar
Kambar should have got the recognition much earlier. I am glad that he has got it at least now. He is an unique writer, as he realises the ‘universal’ in the indigenous. He is also the creator of puranas among new writers.

Kambar has enriched the language of Kannada further, and this award is well-deserved.
U R Ananthamurthy

I am happy that a personality like Kambar from Belgaum has got Jnanpith. He has breathed and lived folklore through his career. By honouring him, folklore has got recognition at national level.
Basavaraj Jagajampi
Kannada Sahitya Parishat
 Belgaum district unit president

I am absolutely happy that this award, which has been long due, has finally come Kambar’s way. He is one of the highly qualified gifted writers we have today.
I have watched him from a close range, and after Bendre, he is the only writer who has come close to using the north Karnataka language so effectively in his works.
While his poetry is rich, his voice is richer. My first impression about him wasn’t a good one, because I based it on his looks. But when I heard him sing, my entire perception about him changed.
Prof G K Govind Rao
Noted artiste and writer 

Kambar is a multi-faceted personality and he cannot be classified as just a writer or a poet or a playwright.

His uniqueness is his ability to interpret nativity in modern times by making it easy to understand. He also effortlessly brings to the fore the native sensibility, and the mythical, cultural, and community memories by making them relevant in the present context.
K V Narayana

This award is long-awaited. Kambar is a contemporary creative genius. He has successfully brought to the fore Karnataka’s cultural identities through his poetry, drama, novels and folklore.

He is one among the ‘tradition maker’ writers that Kannada has today. He has brought forward the legacy of Kannada literature by adding vibrancy, value and depth to his works. He is an optimist and a big dreamer. He creates a dream-like world, which is an inspirational resource. 
K Y Narayanaswamy

Kambar’s works surpass class-oriented dimensions of life and experience.
In fact his technique of merging experience and language, apart from giving him a larger canvas to work on, also provided more depth to his works. His usage of ‘desi bhasha’ has given Kannada literature vigour.
Dr M S Asha Devi
Professor of Kannada, Maharani College

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Young artist honoured with Raza Samman

Young artist honoured with Raza Samman
The Hindu

“Art is inextricably linked to human existence and is an unavoidable companion of human existence…art on another plane depicts the universal emotions of pleasure and pain,” said Vice-President Hamid Ansari at an award ceremony organised here on Monday to facilitate young artists in the name of the living legend Sayed Haider Raza.
The “Raza Samman” award, sponsored by Jawaharlal Darda Foundation, is meant to encourage young artists and carries a cash prize of Rs.5 lakh. This year's first recipient is 39-year-old B. Manjunath Kamath, whose art varies from the conventional to the contemporaneous mode.
“I cannot express myself through words so I try to express myself through visuals,” said an overwhelmed Manjunath, who confessed that it was the first time he was speaking on stage and in front of an audience.
Lalit Kala Akademi chairman Ashok Vajpeyi lauded the young artist: “Manjunath Kamath is trying to navigate the unseen, the untested and the impossible. Once he succeeds, we will be proud to say we were the first to honour him.”
“There are hundreds and thousands who have tried and failed as they could not keep body and soul together. We owe it, as part of society to help such artists,” said Mr. Ansari, adding that state as well as individual patronage was needed to sustain art, quoting examples of Mughul rulers like Jahangir who encouraged artists and the suppression by the British Raj of any art that represented harsh reality. “Booklets made from a painting depicting graphic images of the Bengal famine of 1943 were confiscated and destroyed by the British but one survived - the original which was gifted by the artist to his mother -- art is not abstract but is part of our history,” he said.
Eighty nine-year-old Sayed Haider Raza is one of the foremost pioneers of modern Indian art who overcame poverty and low self worth to achieve incredible success. “When I was 18, I thought I was worthless. It was only painting that gave me a reason to be, I used all my concentration on art,” said the artist, who was born in a dusty village in pre-Independent India and whose love for art made him travel to Nagpur and then to France where he spent around 60 years before returning for good to India, propelled by the need to re-acquaint himself with the country of his birth.
“In the silence of the night after a really successful exhibition, I thought to myself: Where is India in my paintings? This is French art.”
Sayed Haider Raza had a message to all the young artists gathered at the ceremony: “We should not be in a hurry, concentrate without thinking of results or money.”

Saturday, September 3, 2011

ದೆಹಲಿಯಲ್ಲಿ "ಗಾಂಧಿ ಬಂದ" ಯಶಸ್ವೀ ಪ್ರಯೋಗ

ಬೆಂಗಳೂರಿನ ರಂಗಮಂಟಪ ತಂಡವು ಚಂಪಾ ಶೆಟ್ಟಿ ನಿರ್ದೇಶನದ ಎಚ್. ನಾಗವೇಣಿ ಅವರ ಕಾದಂಬರಿ ಆಧಾರಿತ ’ಗಾಂಧಿ ಬಂದ’ ನಾಟಕವನ್ನು ದೆಹಲಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಸಪ್ಟಂಬರ್ 3 ರಂದು ತುಂಬಿದ ಸಭಾಂಗಣದಲ್ಲಿ ಯಶಸ್ವಿಯಾಗಿ ಪ್ರದರ್ಶಿಸಿತು. ಇತ್ತೀಚೆಗಿನ ಅತ್ಯಂತ ಮಹತ್ವದ ಕಾದಂಬರಿ ’ಗಾಂಧಿ ಬಂದ’ವನ್ನು  ರಂಗರೂಪಕ್ಕೆ ತಂದು ದೆಹಲಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಪ್ರದರ್ಶಿಸಿದಾಗ ಇಲ್ಲಿನ ಪ್ರೇಕ್ಷಕರು ಮೆಚ್ಚುಗೆ ವ್ಯಕ್ತ ಪಡಿಸಿದರು. ಪ್ರದರ್ಶನದ ಚಿತ್ರನೋಟ.

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