M G Varadacharya (Part 1)

I mentioned earlier that as per the recommendation of my friends, M G Varadacharya was the third of the three people in Bangalore who were best suited to estimate the worth of English poetry.

Around thirty-four years have elapsed since Varadacharya left us all (c. 1918-19). Even so, every time I remember his name, my throat is choked, my breath becomes heavy, and eyes become moist. He was such was an intensely emotional[1] character.

Mysore Vasudevacharya

[In the book, Vāggeyakāra Vāsudevācārya, there is an essay that records my reverence and admiration about Mysore Vasudevacharya’s personality. Acharya’s grandson, S Krishnamurthy, M.A. was the editor of that book. That anthology also contains essays by a few eminent scholarly connoisseurs. I also got the opportunity to express my innermost sentiments in the foreword I wrote for Acharya’s wonderful work, Nā kaṇḍa kalāvidaru (‘Artistes whom I have encountered’). Another book written by Acharya, Nenapugaḻu is also an interesting read.

PS Shivaswami Iyer - Part 6

Thoughts on Politics

Shivaswami Iyer sided with the Moderates in politics. This party was known as the ‘Liberals’. He did not like the extremists and did not appreciate the path taken by Tilak and others. He subscribed to the views of Gokhale, Dadabai Navaroji, Ranade and others. In his view, the ideas of Mahatma Gandhi were very impractical and insane. He never missed an opportunity to say that Gandhi’s path would only dig grave for India.

Varadacharya’s Aesthetic Sense, Uprightness of Character (Part 2)

Varadacharya’s Proficiency in Art

When we were watching Varadacharya’s plays at the theatre near Kichchetty’s Choultry, I remember what Rangaswamy Iyengar would say about the nature of rāgas used in the plays. I also remember his explanation on the terminologies like vikambha, śuddha vikambha, and miśra vikambha used in drama for indicating certain aspects.[1]

Varadacharya’s Aesthetic Sense, Uprightness of Character (Part 1)

I haven’t come across anyone who has described in detail the services rendered to Kannada literature by the doyen of drama, Nāṭaka Śiromaṇi A V Varadacharya. The plays that he produced never saw publication – i.e. they were never printed as books. Words are inadequate to describe the charm of his scripts, songs, and poems. I used to marvel when I would hear how flawless, rich with emotions, and brilliant his plays were.

P S Shivaswami Iyer – Part 3


I recall an incident when Shivaswami Iyer once poked fun at a group of people, calling them ‘Dharma-dhvajas.’ This was during one of his lectures at the Lions’ Institute in Bangalore. “A person who wants to help others—i.e., who wants to perform acts of dharma—and also wishes to make his humanitarian service known to the public is called a dharma-dhvaja by Manu. Basically, he wants his flag (dhvaja) of ‘dharma’ flying high at all times and that people should notice it.