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Kannada: Independence, festivals and more

20 runners from 12 countries; the youngest among whom is a 23 year old American woman and the oldest, a 60 year old American man; an Indian, Sunil Jayaraj, from Kolar, Karnataka. A 95 day project, covering 4 continents, 16 countries and 24000 KMs, organised by Blue Planet Run. They are running for water.

Ananthamurthy continues with his rhetorical questions. “What has changed since independence?” he asks this time. And I do not really disagree with his observations.

After independence we have gradually lost faith in the persuasive ability of language. In England in the 19th century all its great writers used many rhetorical devices to enhance the persuasive capacity of language. Whether Carlyle or Ruskin or Mathew Arnold, they used all the resources of language to persuade their opponents. This is mostly due to the democratic movements of that age. This means that the speaker believed that he or she could change the way that the opponent thought about a particular issue. [..]

[…]The language of advertisement has taken over now in every field of communication. Its intention is to kill our power of discrimination. […]We are second rate as a civilization now for we have lost faith in the power of language to persuade through reason.

Sindhu misses the shlokas and bhajanes (religious chants and songs) of her childhood. She fondly remembers the way the songs and chants instantly transformed the little monsters into nice kids, albeit momentarily! Once the worships were over, their effect soon got over. She longs for those voices today when

Our evenings are filled with the bright lights of shopping malls, honking vehicles, the “reverse gear songs”, title songs of tele-serials, the shrieking rock and pop of reality shows; it’s not even possible to just sit and listen to the song of the birds. The music from the neighbouring houses, the chaos on the roads… [Translated]

Shrikant Mishrikoti takes us back to the origins of the Ramayana. It starts with Valmiki cursing a hunter who kills the male krauncha bird (Egret or Heron) and causes grief to the female krauncha.

mA niShAda pratiShThA.n tvamagamaH shAshvatI.n samAH |
yatkrauJNchamithunAdekamavadhIH kAmamohitam.h ||

(bAlakANDa 2.14) [Source]

This is the first shloka of Ramayana, which translates into: Oh hunter! You, who killed one of the Kraunchas that were pairing filled with great love for each other, shall not progress much through your life. Valmiki realised that his curse was in the form of a shloka only in retrospect. Also, the cursing, which was an outburst due to the momentary anger, caused great unrest in him. Later on Brahma came to him and asked him to use this curse of his as the starting point of a great epic about Rama, because he thought none can understand the nuances and subtleties of the human nature and the world in which they live, better than Valmiki.

Satish Kumar has a not very happy rant about our seemingly virtual living. He is puzzled that even with so many technologies around, we still cannot communicate well. Sanganagowda is worried about karunADu (the land of black soil, Karnataka) being consumed steadily by “outsiders”. What is good about the post though is he gives a set of constructive ideas to revive Kannada and make it attractive so that others learn it. Mahesha discusses the Kannada equivalents of a few technical terms. Keshav Kulkarni shows enough evidence through a very short post, for “our” sense of false prestige and pretense.

On the 15th of August India celebrated its 60th Independence Day. However, there are not many posts about the event. Perhaps it shows a lack of zeal towards our symbols. Perhaps independence is losing its significance. At least, Archana is unhappy about the change in perception towards the Independence Day. It was an eventful affair during her childhood, when the preparations at the school started 15 days ahead; great many competitions, debates, quizzes, dances and plays. And today it is just another holiday. On the other hand, Rajesh Nayak is seemingly unbothered about these perceptions and continues to pursue his passion, traveling. He celebrates the Independence Day in a unique way in the laps of Mother Nature. A nice photo essay.

In fact, he is a tireless traveler. Here’s another nice photo essay about the different water falls in Kodagu district of Karnataka. I lived in Kodagu for about 3 years but still have not seen many of the water falls he talks about! Shivaram has a set of photos he took in Shivamogga.

Joseph narrates a story told by Osho in which God consoles a poor man who is not allowed to enter a temple by revealing to him that God himself is not allowed to enter that temple constructed by the filthy rich! Venkatesh is recollecting Gandhi through old photographs [1, 2]. A realisation occurs to Shamsundar in his effort of digging out the truth. Abdul Rasheed bashfully publishes a short story on his blog that he had written bashfully. b(bhA)ALa kavana has nice little poems. Hamsanandi translates a shloka from Kalidasa’s Raghuvansha.

Shravana has come; and the festivals come, one after the other. nAga panchami just got over. It is a great festival during which people worship snakes. But more importantly it’s a lot of fun with varieties of delicious undes (laddus or laadus) and “popcorn”. Also, it’s the time when people swing their swings. People, especially women, worship the snake god by pouring milk on to the hood of stone snakes. But in Shivamogga, people celebrated it differently by interacting with real live snakes. Kuchela has a small report on that. Sushruta pens a nice personal account of nAga panchami; laddus, henna and the intimacy of the family.

On the day of nAgara panchami, our ebullience had different flavours: it went like rock music from morning till afternoon, and then it took to the tune of Kannda film song, turning into a lyrical song later in the evening, finally mellowing down into the sound of mother’s low hums. That is because, the night of nAgara panchami is the night when henna was applied to our fingers! [Translated]

Venkatesh pays a tribute to Shyam Benegal, who was recently conferred with the Dada Saheb Phalke award. HPN remembers the good 25 year old CD ROM. He started using this thing called CD ROM barely a few years ago and it’s almost obsolete now!

Well, time flies by. Till the next time…

2 comments

  • Dear Sanketh,

    I have been reading your posts on kannada blogworld through Rasheed’s blog. I must say, you translate very well! The post is very informative. I, a habitual blog surfer, did not know many of the bloggers you have mentioned. Keep us informed. Thank you!!

  • Dear Tina:

    Thanks for the good words! I’ll try to keep it up. By the way, I just noticed your blog and was impressed. I haven’t covered it thus far, but shall make amends from now on.

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