yet another kannada day…

Every year, it has become a practice to celebrate the ‘rajyothsava’ (read: karnataka state formation day; this is usually celebrated throughout the month of November in Karnataka) at nammashaale – generally as ‘kannada day;’ yesterday was that day at the school – with some 1.5 hours of theatricals and much else on display, by the children. All pieces were very nice, well thought out, meticulously organized and richly orchestrated as usual.

Thanks to the persistent goading, guiding, cajoling, coaxing and encouragement from Anita (of course with help from the rest of the staff) – who is the ‘chief’ kannada ‘teacher’ in the school, almost all the children participate in poetry recitations or theatrical productions or dances – during the day. Yes, even the otherwise generally reticent(!) and recalcitrant erdkinder participate.

Well, every year after such a show, I do resolve to myself that I would at least become literate in kannada, ready for the following year’s programme, to appreciate correctly what’s going on, on stage. That I would be able to read in the original, the likes of D R Nagaraj, Masti, Kuvempu, GP Rajarathnam, TP Kailasam, SL Bhyrappa, Girish Karnad et al, et al. As usual, I solemnly resolve to myself, this year too that…

I have read the translated works of these folks, but I know how difficult it is to translate the culture behind the text and linguistic nuances and the cultural richness in to a rather sterile language like english. I have read quite a few of some original pieces of real literature (in Tamil) and their rather sad translated versions (in english), and I know how much goes missing in translations. Frankly I don’t know whether there is any other way…

On the contrary, I read Marcel Proust, Italo Calvino, Albert Camus, Franz Kafka et al, et al – all in ‘translated into english’ versions, and they are delicious and mind boggling.  I think, the magic of the original is perhaps almost faithfully translated by the master translators – may be more on this, in some other post… But I still wonder how great these tomes will be, if read in their native tongues.

Now, for the reportage (finally!):

The celebration started off with a ‘free’ kannada adaptation of that well known Katha Upanishadic verse: sahana bhavatu. The ‘senior’ erdkinder along with Anita and Soujanya recited the verse. Nice. (Was informed that it is the incredible Da Ra Bendre who did the adaptation)

The primary children sang a kannada song (on ganesha, I think), unfortunately I do not remember the title. Sorry.

The elementary children did a fantastic job of the following:

  • A theatrical adaptation of the poem – ‘Kumbhakarnana Niddhe’ (Kumbhakarna’s sleep; author: Srinivasa Udupa) – an imaginatively produced, well acted one, comprising hilarious attempts at waking up Kumbhakarna. The refrain of ‘Kumbha karnanukku Goththe Illa’ is still ringing in my ears. And I continue to chuckle when I think of how Ravana’s mustache suddenly fell off and the unflapped child had to make do and continue to twist an imaginary mustache and deliver the lines… what is drama (or life) without such snafus…
  • Another adaptation ‘Puttu Kittuvina Knicker Jebu’ (In the pocket of the little one – again by the same Srinivasa Udupa) – is about some 23 items carried by a child in its pocket, including a mouse. The elementary children came armed with all these items and were busy showing them off, throughout the recitation. I was half expecting to see a display of a real mouse (the computer peripheral, I mean) but then…
  • There was this rendition of Gadagada gudugudu uralithu goli (roughly: ‘tumbled along, the rolled marble’  — Jeeva Raghunath – english version: – kannada translation: Ashvini Bhatt) by the elementary children – about all the transactions involving the exchange of a marble will all kinds of things. Memorable.

The erdkinder put up a theatrical presentation of a work of Chaucer – adapted by Bagalodi Deveraya as ‘Donney Guddhappana Akaala Marana’ (roughly: ‘The sudden death of rowdy Guddhappa’); this was quite hilarious. The adolescents love for theatre shown through. Really.

The programme ended with the distribution of  lovely (and sticky) besan laddoos from Kanti Sweets (sadly only one per head was dished out; wish I were a clone of Ravana)


The children and the adults who were involved in organizing the event must really be congratulated for the sumptuous treat. Thanks folks!

A few parents had come for the programme and some of them were seen clicking pics – and these will be shared on the blog, if these parents choose to share them.

(a report on a previous ‘kannada day’ celebration here)

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  • Sahana  On December 1, 2010 at 9:07 am

    Ramji you’re really funny

  • VENU  On December 6, 2010 at 1:39 am

    Hi Ramjee
    Nice updates..
    The one number i have of Nammashaale doesnot seem to work
    Any alternatives please?

  • Ramjee Swaminathan  On December 13, 2010 at 11:24 am

    Sahana, am I? 🙂

    Hello Venu – I responded to you by email. There is a post on ‘contacting nammashaale’ in the right-hand-side panel. It has all the details. Check it out.

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