There are many rags-to-riches stories around the city of Mumbai. However, here is a story of transformation of a woman and her true self in the city of dreams. Set in Mangalore and Mumbai of the late 1940s, Anurakte ? The Enamoured is an elegantly written story of a woman and her changing worldview over a period of time. Sumithra, a young woman with ordinary dreams and aspirations, comes to the then Bombay in search of livelihood. Little did she know that her experiences in the city and her zest for an independent life would transform her into a different person. She breaks the shell and resolves not to look back. The book is a poignant tale of love, loss, betrayal, family, relationships and traditions. The culturescape of Mumbai beautifully intertwines with her dreams. It is as much a story of the vibrancy of Mumbai as it is about Sumithra?s journey towards freedom.
This book presents the mystical ruminations and literary excellence of Akka Mahadevi, the earliest example of a gender-liberated woman writer, credited with the composition of over four hundred and forty remarkably self-explorative Vachanas. Akka Mahadevi represents a powerfully authentic female voice of the radical, egalitarian Sharana Movement, which questioned the socially established barrier between genders and ushered in a world of socio-cultural equality.
In this book, the author explores the questioning spirit intrinsic to Akka Mahadevi’s life and writings, as she questions the widely held conventional norms: the traditional husband-wife relationship, her parents, elders; she questions Basavanna and Allama for their habituated patriarchal manner of speaking, and she bravely questions her personal deity whom she loves and adores. Apart from discerning a credible ‘history’ and background to Akka’s works, this book makes available a rendition of her selectively profound and memorable Vachana in modern English, that crosses the ?the gulf of language and the gulf of time.
Swapna Saraswatha is the saga of migration of a community called Saraswaths in the west coast of India, extending from Goa to the south of Mangalore. It captures the dominance of a colonial power over the region that began with the entry of the Portuguese about four hundred years ago. The novel is a graphic description of the displacement of this strongly-rooted community which saw its resurrection in a new area. In the course of its narrative, the novel traces the gradual changes in the structure of the family that moved from a closely knit joint family of the bygone era to the nuclear family. It also deals with the factors that are responsible for the change in value systems of individuals in the wake of such paradigm shifts. With its vast canvas, it remarkably weaves fiction with myth and history, peppered with cultural details and linguistic nuances. The narration in Swapna Saraswatha progresses in the form of an epic detailing the story of nine generations spread over a period of two hundred and fifty years from 1510 to about 1760. It encompasses more than a hundred and fifty characters which include Hindus, Muslims, Christians, chieftains, traders, farmers, priests and black magicians, and covers a range of themes spread across folk tales, legends, armies, myths and a sprinkling of history.
Defiance is a captivating tale of the march of globalization and its impact on the lives and times of the Santher Guthu family in Ombathkere, a village located between Mangaluru and Kasaragodu. Set in the picturesque Malabar coast of Karnataka in the late 20th Century, the novel takes the reader through four generations of the family. Ambakke, the protagonist, along with her brother Sankappa Hegde, the third-generation descendants of the family form the lifeblood of this story of human relationships in the midst of time and change. The novel is born out of deep contemplation of a community in the face of transition. There is anxiety that grips this part of Karnataka in the wake of modernity. The vast canvas of the novel and the depiction of folk culture provides a unique touch to the saga of the community. Defiance is a novel about traditions and the fear of losing out to modernity. It is about change and the desire to remain rooted.
These two plays negotiate with the real problems of contemporary India. If Sahyadri Kanda is about the ripples caused in the life of the people in a village on the Western Coast which will soon have a nuclear plant, Swayamvaraloka, is an allegorical narrative set in a small village that extends to include the larger contemporary world. Both the plays dwell on the seeming binaries of village-city, success-failure, modern-traditional while examining the nature of human relationships in the changing world. These plays also reflect an ambition to elevate the real experience to a mythical level. While most playwrights attempt to echo contemporary concerns by reinterpreting history and mythology, for these plays, the epics, their grandeur, the struggle, the wars are not episodes that happen in kingdoms and palaces and battlefields, they are also that which takes place in the microworld of one’s consciousness. Each character in these plays find their own dharma, yet it offers no model for the reader, and remains only a pointer to the complex process of finding it.
ಕಲ್ಪನೆ ಎಂಬುದು ಸತ್ಯಕ್ಕಿಂತ ಹೆಚ್ಚು ಸತ್ಯ, ಕನಸು ಎಂಬುದು ವಾಸ್ತವಕ್ಕಿಂತ ಹೆಚ್ಚು ವಾಸ್ತವ ಎಂಬುದು ಅತಿ ಸಣ್ಣಕತೆಗಳು ನಮಗೆ ಮನದಟ್ಟು ಮಾಡಿಕೊಡುವಂತೆ ಕಾಣುತ್ತವೆ. ಹೆಚ್ಚಿನ ಅತಿ ಸಣ್ಣಕತೆಗಳು ವಾಸ್ತವವಾದೀ ಮಾರ್ಗವನ್ನು ಬಿಟ್ಟುಕೊಟ್ಟಿರುವುದಕ್ಕೆ ಪ್ರಾಯಶಃ ಇದೇ ಕಾರಣ. ವಿವರಣೆ-ವರ್ಣನೆಗಳ ಹಂಗು ಇಲ್ಲದಿರುವುದರಿಂದ ಸಂಕ್ಷಿಪ್ತತೆ ಮತ್ತು ಸಾಂದ್ರತೆಗಳು ಇವುಗಳ ಸಹಜ ಲಕ್ಷಣಗಳಾಗಿವೆ. ಅಂತರಂಗದ ಆಳವನ್ನು, ಅಮೂರ್ತವನ್ನು, ಸಾಂಕೇತಿಕವಾದುದದ್ದನ್ನು ಮತ್ತೊಂದೇ ಸ್ತರದಲ್ಲಿ ಗ್ರಹಿಸಿ ಅಭಿವ್ಯಕ್ತಿಸಲು ಲೇಖಕರಿಗೆ ಈ ಪ್ರಕಾರ ಹೇಳಿ ಮಾಡಿಸಿದಂತಿದೆ. ಹಾಗಾಗಿ ಜಗತ್ತಿನ ಎಲ್ಲ ಭಾಷೆಗಳ ದೊಡ್ಡ ಲೇಖಕರು, ದೀರ್ಘವಾದ ಕತೆ-ಕಾದಂಬರಿಗಳನ್ನು ಬರೆದವರನ್ನೂ ಸೇರಿಸಿಕೊಂಡು, ಈ ಪ್ರಕಾರದಲ್ಲಿ ಕೃಷಿಮಾಡಿದ್ದಾರೆ. ತುಂಬ ಸೂಕ್ಷ್ಮವಾದ, ನಾಜೂಕಾದ ಸಂಗತಿಗಳನ್ನು ಸೂಚ್ಯವಾಗಿ, ಕೆಲವೊಮ್ಮೆ ಪರೋಕ್ಷವಾಗಿ, ಇನ್ನೂ ಕೆಲವು ವೇಳೆ ಮುಚ್ಚಿಟ್ಟು ಹೇಳಲು ಈ ಪ್ರಕಾರವು ತನ್ನ ಸ್ವರೂಪದ ಕಾರಣದಿಂದಲೇ ಅನುವು ಮಾಡಿಕೊಡುತ್ತದೆ. ಇದು ಆಧುನಿಕ ಪೂರ್ವದ ದಂತಕತೆ, ನೀತಿಕತೆ, ದೃಷ್ಟಾಂತ ಕತೆಗಳ ಆಧುನಿಕ ರೂಪವಾಗಿ ಕಂಡರೂ ಆಶ್ಚರ್ಯವಿಲ್ಲ.
Konkani Roman Catholic Christians were converted from other groups by Goan Missionaries long back, keeping the caste system tradition to a large extent in layers such as the Bamonn, the Charodi, the Gawdi, the Nendar, the Shudra, etc. At the time of marriages and other social gatherings they continue to consider caste system norms and customs in the community. Caste system in Indian Christians is vividly described in the novel Bamonn. Christopher Pai of Kalyanpura hails from a Bamonn family and takes great pride in his ancestry. He believes in the stories about his Konkani Roman Catholic ancestors from his elders and about their being true Christians, holding on to their faith despite tremendous pressure to convert to Islam during Tipu Sultan?s regime. He also believes Bamonns are superior to other Christians in the community. After retiring from his job of a Headmaster, he refuels his obsession to retrace his roots and find out the truth about his ancestors. In his journey of self-assurance and faith, will he succeed in his mission to convince his family, his children and the community at large of his glorious ancestry and in still pride in the next generation? . . .