K.P. Puttanna Shetty was the deputy commissioner of Kolar during 1903-04. On one of those days, K.P Puttanna Shetty inaugurated a library in one of the clubs of Kolar. I listened to the speech he delivered that day. I was a high school student then. Someone had taken me along to this event. His speech may have lasted for about five minutes. It was in English. His choice of words and the emotions hidden in them appealed to my mind. Only so many words as to stay appropriate. It was brief and simple. My appreciation and admiration towards him blossomed as a result.
Now, this Vēṅkaṭaśarma was not one among my ancestors. It was a person named Śāmabhaṭṭa who was my predecessor. A Vedic practitioner by birth, Śāmabhaṭṭa, chose the profession of a Shanbhogue for a livelihood, which brought unto him, an official turban or a roomal, thus earning him the title of Rumāle Śāmabhaṭṭa. Now this title might've been a banter, and very much akin to the case of the esteemed, Chappalli Viśveśvara Śāstri, as mentioned by me elsewhere –
The storage of the genealogical records and investing in their maintenance are the things that have barely captured the emphasis of our folk. On the contrary, the European world seems to have taken some interest at least, in this regard, such as, the devoted maintenance of a record for every child that is baptised in the community, including the date of birth and the parental information of the infant. Apart from this, the customary recording of the diary entries and routinary whereabouts, provide us with generous amounts of information.
Among the violinists from Mulbagal (Kolar district, Karnataka), four are prominent:
- Sethumadhava Rao
Among these, Madhavayya was the best when it comes to his command over the instrument and proficiency in the Ragas. But Sethumadhava Rao was the most senior in terms age and experience. Hence, I shall commence by narrating about him first.
Discharging Social Debts
Now I will narrate some social etiquette that was in practice more than seventy years ago. People did not frequent hotels or restaurants back then. In fact, one couldn’t find any hotels or restaurants in any town other than Bangalore [in the Mysore Province]. The common belief among the brāhmaṇas was that running a restaurant or eating in one was highly improper.
Among the important citizens of Mysore state, based on their oratory skills and efficiency, I can say from the bottom of my heart, that Abbas Khan sahib belongs to the top echelons.
A Special Incident
A scholar used to attend all the Sahitya Parishat meetings. But, Venkatanarayanappa wouldn’t give him much attention. He would be kept isolated. Let’s say there were perhaps reasons. Let’s call him Mr. X.
When the Sahitya Parishat met in Chikkamagaluru, it looked like Mr. X pleaded with Rao. Rao said “Venkatanarayanappa, please give him a chance now at least. He wants to tell something; he will keep whining otherwise. Please show some mercy!”.
I’ve heard that medical experts document in detail, in accordance with their working philosophy - the onset of an ailment in a patient, its progression, the effect the ingested medicine has in curing the patient, and so forth (as evidence) in their articles and books. I too have suffered some ailments in the past. I’m interested in developments in medical sciences. I intend to record a few case histories that could possibly help future editors of pharmacopeia. I will present two cases now - Hunger and Indigestion.