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This is my diary....what I make sense of, around me. You'll find short prose on contemporary topics that interest me. What can you expect - Best adjectives? …. hmm occasionally, tossed around flowery verbs ?…. Nope, haiku-like super-brevity? … I try to. Thanks for dropping by & hope to see you again

April 8, 2011

Remembering 'Uncle Pai'


Uncle Pai had passed away a month back. I got to know of it when a small postcard invite fell on my doorstep from his  hometown of Mangalore to attend the 12 day ceremony. Another Uncle Pai (of Amar Chitra Katha fame) also passed away almost in the same period. To me these two Uncle Pai’s had something in common; they left a legacy - a body of  work with a lasting imprint on the minds of the elderly & children respectively. 

The Uncle Pai (Kulyadi Madhav Pai) I am referring to is related from Wifi side and I regret I couldn’t attend his last rites due to some commitments.  But the time I spent with him & his memories will be cherished. With a small note he religiously book posted whenever the  newer editions of ‘Kaggokti Sampada’ hit the stands. The Book and its series were an illuminating body of work on decoding one of  the great literary works in Kannada literature by D.V.Gundappa (or DVG as he is popularly referred as) 

DVG was a literary colossus & his Mankuthimmana Kagga is considered a Nobel prize winning material, if it had been written in English. This was followed by  Marula Muniyana Kagga which Uncle Pai had translated . The beauty of this work ( and there lay in it its greatness he used to say)  is that- it makes the reader see himself through the poems, to interpret the thoughts of the poet in his own way. 

Kagga is a beautiful and profound collection of 945 poems. Each poem is of four lines. Some of the poems are in old Kannada style (Halegannada). Kagga poems are profound, and poetic and like a bee attracted to the flower Uncle Pai was drawn into it. 

An instance (roughly translated to English):

Life is a Horse driven cart, Fate its driver
You're the horse, Passengers - as allotted by God
Sometimes rides to a marriage, sometimes to a graveyard
When stumbled, there's always the earth - says Manku Thimma




In  his book preface Uncle Pai  writes ‘DVG’s Marula Muniyana Kagga’s   beautiful play of words with profound meaning of life  urged me to interpret in a layman’s language. It was a long journey though, it started when I by-hearted a few kaggas; the meaning of which took some to sink in. I later took some more & the experience was overwhelming. Based on my initial experiences I began to write but was not happy with the outcome.   So I discarded the effort and waited for the next couple of years to truly imbibe the work for an accurate representation’
 
Finally egged on by friends & encouraged by the “Samyukta Karnataka” newspaper he began compiling the works which went into 7 volumes by the time of his death.

R.I.P Uncle Pai



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