Profiles

The Musician Kempe Gowda

I had the acquaintance of Sri Kempe Gowda for a really short time—about two or three hours.

Sri Kempe Gowda hailed from the Coimbatore region. There was no one to tell how he acquired the craze for music. After his childhood, he became the disciple of Sri Pattanam Subrahmanya Iyer who was renowned in Tiruvayur in the Tanjavur district. Out there, Kempe Gowda was the classmate of Vidwan Mysore Vasudevacharya. I have heard that in his final days, Kempe Gowda was staying in the house of Sri Rame Gowda in Jigani Village, which falls en route Bangalore-Bannerghatta.

C Rajagopalachari (Part 1)

Chakravarti Rajagopalachari always wore smoked glasses (i.e. dark glasses). This gave way to ridicule. It’s true that his eyesight was weak, just like several others. But why the black-coloured glasses? So that others do not realize how his eye-balls are turning; the movement of the eyes indicates the intent of the mind. When the mind is under the grip of anger and distress, or is thinking of something insincere, it shows in the eyes; the wise may understand that; to avoid that, dark glasses to hide one’s real intent – such was the rumour.

Bellave Venkatanaranappa and the Mallikarjuna Temple

Self-help

We were to start working for the Kannaḍa Sāhitya Sammeḻana (Kannada Literary Conference), which was to take place in Davanagere. The Chair of the Conference was to enter in a grand procession. Before the event, Venkannayya and I were having a casual chat along with a few others. Venkatanaranappa came to us and exclaimed, “Why are you all like this even now? The procession has to start! Come on! Get dressed quickly!"

I replied, “You haven’t got ready yet!”

Dharwad Karnataka’s Zest for Literature

The Kannada renaissance movement had begun several years earlier[1] in the Dharwad Karnataka region. One can say that in some sense, (literary) programs began in Dharwad long before it had started in Mysore. The Karṇāṭaka Vidyāvardhaka Saṅgha of Dharwad is much older than Bangalore’s Sāhitya Pariṣad. The founders of the Vidyāvardhaka Saṅgha came to Mysore, met the Mahārāja Sri Chamarajendra Wodeyar, explained their objectives in detail, and sought his help.