Kumbāra Guṇḍayya (Guṇḍayya, the Potter)
In one of the plays – probably ‘Vijayanagara Patana’ – one of the characters is a potter. That day Raghavacharya beckoned me and told me to sit in the first row, just next to stage. I declined. He insisted I sit there compulsorily. “If you don’t sit there, I will have to call out your name loudly and make you come there. It will be an unnecessary fuss.” Thus he cajoled me. I sat there as per his instruction.
Circa 1909, the drama company Sumanorama Sabhā (or Suguṇavilāsa Sabhā) of Bellary arrived in Bangalore. Kolachalam Srinivasa Rao was the director of that drama company. He was an advocate. It was Sāhukār Netkallappa who helped the company by making arrangements for them in Bangalore.
What is necessary for a biography is a series of character-revealing incidents.
The People who are Worthy of a Biography
History is the external transactions of the people, while Biography comprises the inner landscape.
The important aspects of a biography may be divided into two categories: i. external aspects and ii. inner nature.
The starting salary for teachers in the education department was three rupees. This was during the time of Garret, Leonard, Rice, and other British officers. As this continued for ten to fifteen years a promotion to four rupees was given; and persons who labored for more than twenty years received five rupees. There was a constant recommendation from the officers of the department that this was insufficient and had to be increased. The government used to respond as insufficient funds.
The Necessity of History
What’s the meaning of this? It is just that history will never leave us. What we do, what we don’t do, what we experience, what we avoid experiencing – all these form a part of history. In what we do and experience, if we tread with wisdom, we can avoid mishaps and fulfil our desires at least to some extent. If we want to gain such wisdom, the only path before us is the deep study of history.
History and Biography – these two genres of literature are new to our country. They are not particularly ancient to any country.
In this essay, when I say ‘history’ I’m referring to the history of a certain geography or a land and when I say ‘biography’ I’m referring to the personal history of a famous man or woman. We shall see the details in due course.
My Dedication to Lessons
My maternal uncle prepared me for all the above lessons. A special part of this was dedicated to mathematics. Its machinations went something like this –