Saturday, September 28, 2019

My Tryst with Pondicherry and It's adopted Son Prof. Manoj Das

( With Prof.Manoj Das)

Whole world conspires to fulfill your dream if you have a longing for something without expecting anything in return,I mean, selfish in spirit.Prof.Manoj Das, the renowned Indo-Anglian writer came into my life during the days of graduation.Once I chose a book from our college library was on Sri Aurobindo and it was authored by Manoj Das. That was the very first time seeing his name and which appealed to me in an enigmatic manner.His style of writing had some magic and enthralling capability.

His books were read in later years also,of course with judicious intervals amidst my head-load of works.Among which 'The Tiger at Twilight (novella),The mystery of a missing cap (Stories) and selected fiction (Stories) are important to remember for me as they carried some flashes resembled  to my experiences of childhood. Especially 'Farewell to a Ghost' story is one that haunts right to this moment. It engulfed into subconscious level for its powerful presentation.

And I shouldn't forget Dr.Kulamani Dash, a staunch admirer of Manoj Das who rushed me a book titled 'The Bulldozers'. It was a melange of  diverse colors like sarcasm,comedy and a love story turned into a tragic situation at the end. All these are created by One great writer of our times and a resident of Sri Aurobindo ashram. He conferred with Padmasri,Kalidas Samman and many many  honors.A columnist for many publications like The Hindu,The Indian Express and The Hindustan Times.

Fortunately, I have met such a remarkable author on the 21st of this month at his residence. It was in Dupey road,Pondicherry. All the surrounding streets are having the Exotic French names. After having visited 'Maha Samadhi' of Sri Aurobindo Maharshi, knocked the door of the gentle man. He warmly received me and we have talked almost half an hour,though I was given ten minutes of appointment. He appreciated my book's cover page art when I presented him my latest title 'The Riverside Man & Other short stories'. He got amused on knowing that the art was drawn by a Bureaucrat named Sri Vadrevu China Veerabhadrudu.

I aspired to have clicked some monuments,library,sprawling heritage sites inside but photography was prohibited.Many people were in meditation beside the Maha samadhi of Sri Aurobindo. It became a global destination long back.Many tourists seemed to be from various parts of the world. What a calm,serene,greenish and beautiful place filled with glorious aura..! Apart from it, Pondicherry is creating abuzz as an important educational hub. Environment is clean and the sea breeze let you feel comfort anywhere in the city.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

The Dark Arena : A novel by Mario Puzo

I resumed reading this Puzo's novel in a journey. In fact, I should have read it long back since myself was and is an ardent fan of him for many of his deceptive tale telling techniques. This novel sets in the backdrop of second world war. Walter Mosca was a young war veteran of American origin. He returned to Germany after a few of days spent in his hometown,refusing a marriage proposal from Gloria. He also denied his mother's advice to settle down in a different way.

One fine morning, he sets out to the war zone of Berlin. Mosca met his German girl friend Fella again. War rules don't permit a relationship with local people. But you know love is blind as the age old adage goes by. In course of time, Fella became pregnant and gave birth to a baby boy. He started his efforts to take Fella and the son to the US and for which some important legal papers to be approved by higher officials. There were some people who keeps playing against it.

The real troubles came upon while Fella caught up with he health problems. Military doctors were to  answer their superiors when they treated outsiders. It made the couple irksome to come up with their real identities. Mosca compelled to have drugs by adapting foul play or she would get affected miserably. Surprisingly, the most wanted currency then was not dollars or marks or anything else,but American cigarettes. In black market, those crates have great demand. He exchanged them for medicines. However, his son and girlfriend died due to the timely medical treatment at the bay.At last, he returned to the US  leaving his second son with a care taker in grief.

What Mario Puzo did want to tell us by this piece of work..? Well, the cruel face of war surfaced with many implications. Not only that, the way how Germans were being treated by the victorious nations was also described. Frankly speaking, this would nothing to do with Mafia like themes since Mario Puzo was acclaimed for his crime,manipulation,betrayal and Mafiaso saga.This novel had been written in 1955. That means his very first novel and it saw no big success comparing to The God Father. Perhaps he could have shifted to the genre of crime fiction seeing its fall.

But for some curious reason,I liked it for its quality of warmth,war time love and historical importance in descriptions. It showcased a different Puzo in spirit. He could definitely have inspired from Dostoevsky while he was writing some parts dealt with psychological suffering of the lovers and societal indifference towards human values. ---Murthy Kvvs            

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

The Riverside Man & Other Short Stories By Murthy KVVS

Sucharitha Publications
First print: June 2019
Price: Rs.100/-

For Copies: Navodaya Book house, Kachi guda, Hyderabad-500 027
                    Mobile:90004 13413

Murthy's "The Riverside Man&Other short stories" comprises of eleven enthralling short stories. He beautifully encapsulates his diverse experiences in these stories. This is his maiden attempt in English but he has successfully penned four titles in Telugu. His multiple interests in social activities speculate in these stories that will make you laugh and learn.

"The Guest Obsessed" articulates about obsession. Obsession with anyone or anything considers unscrupulous. This story brilliantly encompasses the obsession of monkeys and it's both consequences.

"Missing of an Old Woman" highlights the schizophrenia that rampant in the society. Every three out of five persons suffer from this chronic disease. One need not run away from harsh reality while one needs to face it boldly and find out solutions. This old woman has been portrayed symbolically and suggests that she can be anyone in the world. She roams and rests carelessly and recklessly by the side of dividers. The story emphasizes that our moral duty is to send off schizophrenic persons to hospitals rather we stand, stare and laugh at them.

"Rajanikant" The very name of this short story refers to Tamil superstar Rajanikant. Yes, it is because one of the students changed his name and is being called as Rajanikant. But after the headmaster's admonishing, he sticks to his original name and now continues his studies with pursuing business administration. It will definitely remind your "childhood should be like that, fun and frolic"(23)

"A Burial Ground and Memoirs" reveals the strong connection that lies between the place and our old experienced memories. Memory keeps us haunting and longing for bygone days and this story refreshes and rejuvenates the reminiscences.

"On the Fateful Day...!" reveals one's unplanned journey of life as one needs to adjust with moving time's plan. In one's life, everything occurs unpredictably in the domain of universal force.

"Dantewada" stresses on atrocities and terrorism. It also highlights the pathetic conditions of underpaid teachers and they are compelled to work another business to cope up in life.

"A Boulder in Stream" elucidates the story of a backbencher, silent, reticent boy. The teacher scolds him without knowing his mental condition for not responding to him. When the teacher came to know his family split through another student then he accepts his fault and said sorry. He says sorry to him.

"Polling Duty" energetic and enthusiastic spirit for one's work defeats the hunger of the stomach for sometimes. They work without having food but engulfing water time and again.

"The Riverside Man" deals with a missing girl and saint. The missing girl is found but can the life of saint valuable for his/her family? Why not her/his family members bring him back? The saint sits beside the river and chant deeply. When the narrator questions his life and belongingness and he politely replied and states everything is uncertain except death then why do we worry about. Enjoy each and every moment of your life.

"Memorabilia" throws light on the nostalgia of the CIIL Campus, Mysore. The author shares his varied experiences about visiting R.K.Narayan's house, nearby places like Coorg, Ooty, Nagara Hole etcetera and his encounters with diverse culturally and linguistically persons.

Murthy's each and every story carries a pinch of mystery that tightly intact your interests in these stories till you finished them off. These stories contemplate various societal issues at the same time advocate for moral lessons. Geographical locations and descriptions accentuate on the staunch and unfading memories of the author. His narration is flawless, lucid and coherent.

               -----Reviewed by Shivnath Kumar Sharma (Research Scholar),
                                         Dept. of English, Pondicherry University
                                         Puducherry- 605014 

Thursday, May 30, 2019

My Latest Book for Reviewers is here...!

I am happy to announce a piece of important news. A milestone in my journey of writing.13 of my short stories to be brought out shortly under the title of "The Riverside man and other short stories" and the cover pages are given in the post for you all. In fact, all the stories have taken place in this blog and after being considered the importance of these stories to be a printed book form, now I have geared up to have accomplished the task as soon as possible.

Received brilliant feedback from prolific writers, voracious readers and some of the accolades have been placed on the last cover page. All I would say is the book will be of its own class by the terms of narrative and landscapes were chosen. Most of the stories revolved around a non-fictional town where I have experienced many an incident in flesh and blood. A judicious mix of imagination too added to enhance the quality of readability.

I would also like to talk a bit about the cover page design. It's benign subtility with a loner nearby tall trees, foliages, and watching abandoned shelters in solitude enriched the total expression of the collection of my stories. I thought that it has been drawn only in view of it. I requested the artist and he obliged happily. He is none other than Sri Vadrevu Ch. Veerabhadrudu garu. A great writer, poet, essayist, painter and a household name among the Telugu diaspora across the world. Thanking him profusely for his kind gesture.

Blogger friends, you are cordially welcome to review my book on your blog space. Please send your postal address to my inbox so that I can mail it by post or couriers, with postage free. Sorry, no PDF or soft copy. I don't like to put it on any other platforms except on my website and publisher's website for sale. I know, book promotion is an arduous task but I have my own plans regarding it. Let me test the waters.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Memorabilia..! (A Story by Murthy Kvvs)

Memorabilia..! (A Story By Murthy Kvvs)

There are two reasons to step into Mysore. First, I have got a call from CIIL to attend the classes of translation studies. And the second one, to have a visit to the memorial house of Late R.K.Narayan, one of the eminent writers of India. I had written a letter to him during my college days after reading his novel 'Swamy and his friends'.Response from the stalwart was not expected as I was a just common reader among innumerable book lovers. Miraculously I received a letter from him. His signature under the lines typed on the white paper gave me immense joy and which had addressed none other than me. I had shown the letter to my friends and lecturers, in a spurt of enthusiasm. Everybody held me in great respect thereafter.

Thus R.K.Narayan entered my life giving me some special place in my circle. I started reading all his other works with great attention. Our college library became my favorite nestle whenever I had free time. All this was about more than three decades back. But the impact of such reading moved me to further shores regarding observing things around me and trying to pen it at times. I should say it's my initial inspiration to the journey of literary pursuits. Now I am in Mysore. But R.K.Narayan is no more. He passed away several years back, yet, there is a house where he lived once turned a memorial one at present. However, I have to be there for some time. See the magic of time, I am going to be there where he lived in flesh and blood, once upon a time. To experience his presence there.

"Do you know Yadava giri. How far from here?" I asked Dr.Sharma after having settled down on the campus of CIIL. He also came here to attend translation classes. Well acquainted with Mysore since he had visited it several times.

"Just a couple of miles. Accessible by autos, wish to visit R,K. Narayan's home? " He guessed it amazingly.

" are right"

"Don't worry. First, let's see other places like Madikeri, Coorg, and someones in Kerala in our leisure and at last, you can see that. No problem" He suggested.

The training program encompasses almost one month. Every Sunday is a holiday, so we started going to places which were in and around Mysore. It gives us fresh air after the hectic schedule of the classes. There was a mini India in our campus literally, comprising of candidates from all states. In this way, a living example of national integration on the pretext of Translation mission. An exhilarating sight with different ages of candidates.Students, research scholars, Journos, teachers, and all other walks of life who were interested in Translation work. It's a skill enhancement program conducted by CIIL, a govt. of India organization.

 Garden City has many interesting things to explore. With its heritage of sandalwood, silk and Royal Palace the green cover across the streets is stupendous. On one Sunday, some young people planned to visit Sultan bathery and nearby falls in Kerala. Almost 2 hours drive. We have also joined by paying charges for the trip. It was just like an educational tour, by knowing many things about the places.

Mr.Sharma, a German professor and I were from Telugu states. Hence we made into a peer group. And there was no dearth of fulfillment what a true traveler wished to have over a trip like this. There were other people mostly younger than us who made it hilarious in all respects. In return, we have covered some other places. Altogether a successful trip. After that, we all made our way to Ooty, Coorg, Nagara Hole and so on successively on different holidays. Not to say about roaming across the Mysore streets in the evening leisure times. Mysore cuisine deeply influenced by the Udupi style. We liked it very much.

Our campus seemed to have sprawled in almost one hundred acres or maybe more than it with buildings for many departments and hostels. By evening after classes ended, all we trainees were gathered on the green lawns in front of the hostel. And some have gone out for chilling their own way. And some were strolling after their dinner. There I have met two research scholars, Kamal Raj, and B.T.Reddy. They said that the training certificate would be useful for their future endeavors.

The young were more advantageous as they have a great weapon, the time. They would be professors or highly well placed in the future if they use it prudently. Cultural front too to be discussed here. In intervals of lectures, many trainees showcased their talent in singing, poetry recital and other crafts. How diverse and fascinating India is with all these mystified spirits of unity..!

Dr.Sharma had sung a song on the contribution of Kannada cultural greats like Pampa, Ranna, Kuvempu, Basaveswara and other stalwarts. I was overwhelmed on knowing this Kannada song was written by himself only. Being a Telugu one, penning such a wonderful Kannada song..? I requested him to upload it on Youtube. I am still waiting for the moment.

Time is nearing to departure. All these days brought me my college life back. Lectures of great experts maneuvered my spirits anew with unseen avenues. Mouthwatering dishes over chatting with new friends. Friends like mentors Tariq Khan and Anwar sirs. Above all the mosaic of different states' people yet to miss. What about your visiting to the memorial of R.K.Narayan's..? I know you're all going to ask me the same question.

Well..! I was to visit it alone as Dr.Sharma got his reservation ticket a bit earlier. I resumed walking up to St.Joseph's school and got an auto to get down at the Vivekananda Road where the wizard of Malgudi lived in a two storied house. The ambiance was cool with huge trees and neat roads around. There in the register signed and entered with a tinge of excitement. Every article used by the Malgudi creator kept in with utmost care. The writing desk, chair, bed, pens, photos, dresses, books and many things showcased for the visitors. Definitely one feels his existence in the astral plane. Did he believe in paranormal activities..? Yes, in his novel of 'the English teacher', the protagonist's wife was used to speak him after her death. He described it to have happened in a garden with the help of a particular person who kept meditating on the subject. I tiptoed out of the house.

What to do freeze this moment in the fashion of tributing the great soul..! I started thinking in many ways. At last, I decided to write a short story, however, the quality it would be of, a tribute with a few words to my favorite writer..! Let his soul forgive this greenhorn in case any morass being created by me on the pretext. (By Murthy Kvvs)

Saturday, May 4, 2019

The Riverside Man (A Story by Murthy Kvvs)

" A Six year old girl was missing in the crowd.Wearing green dress and with blue ribbons.Her name was Soumya and native of Kurnool.Please take the kid to the enquiry counter nearby northern gate of the temple.Her parents were in deep grief and waiting eagerly for the girl" announcement blared up in the mike.I am used to this kind of missing news, especially on the occasion of Sri Rama navami celebrations at our temple town Bhadrachalam.Visitors throng here from far and wide to witness the wedding ceremony of the celestial couple Lord Rama and his consort Seeta Ma.Dharmasalas, Lodges and all other outlets of the sort remain filled with devotees.The town is decked up like a new bride itself.

With the advent of Globalization cars, jeeps and other vehicles made available to the public in large way.That impact is evident here when we see the beeline of automobiles in front of every hotel and lodge, not only on the occasion of Sri Rama navami festival, but also on weekends and holidays.From here one would go to Perantapalli resorts via boat cruise.In our childhoodthings were very much different.Buses were only the means and travel buses with loads of devotees.As they entered the town, the pilgrims would raise their voice in praising of Lord Rama.Now I hardly listen any of them.But ominous sounds caused by visitors and vehicles galore all over.

It was evening turning into twilight.Ever year, on the day of Sri Rama navami celebrations,soon after Kalyanam completed, it is common for me to have a stroll along the temple street to see the bustling rush of visitors and all other activities like exhibitions,cultural programs, etc.,Luckily sometimes meeting a known person on the way is exciting.Above all, cool breeze sweeping over Godavari river.And the sand dunes losing heat to facilitate the visitors to sit cozily.They both never cease to take me into their lap.As usual, river banks were filled with the visitors, some men and women were taking holy dips.They did not seem to have bothered about their transparent wet clothes by coming out of water to change their clothes.Makeshift outlets were there, but very few cared to use them.

took a rather long walk on the crunchy sand of the river bank.There, hardly any people were seen, a Sadhu like person was sitting about facing westward.The long white beard gives him a strange look.And there was a Trishul or trident beside him fixed in the sand.He was gazing something over the flow of Godavari river.I intrigued to have a talk with him to know what there is in store for me, like how they manage their travelsfood and any supernatural powers achieved so on.

just sat nearby silently. He was not moved an inchstaring straight the way in such a languid demeanor.kept waiting like a school kid if he would turn towards me.No, it seems not likely to happen.At last, I have decided to thaw the iceberg.What to start and how to call him.Much embarrassed at the moment. I have donned many hats, but it's entirely different.

"Hello sir...Namaste" I greeted him formally. He slowly turned his face towards me.His eyes were twinkling in the starry light.He smiled and inquired with a nod, still no talking.

"May I know where you are coming from? I mean you look like a Saintly person," I asked him.Felt like committed a faux pas..!

"I came here from Haridwar, before that many other places were also visited," he said stoically.

"Where do you belong Swamiji" I gathered strength.

"Sadhus do not have native places.Entire creation belonged to theirs," He answered.

"How did you come and where have you got needed money for your expenses?

"Usually ocher robed persons like me were not asked for tickets in trains.They knew that we're sanyasis or renounced ones"

"About your food,"

"Some kind people offered money or food. Of course, sometimes I remain empty bellied without any food"

"Are you not afraid of being alone? Travelling around places like this."

"What is there to afraid? Everywhere you find Panchabhutas or five elements and nothing else,mostly what happens is death which is certain to everybody."

"Is it not scaring you dying in this manner?At some unknown place like an orphan"

"It's most common phenomenon right from the ages in our country.A Sanyasi has to live a life like that."

"Out there, so many Sanyasis were leading most comfortable lives and some are ruling too"

"Politics need certain faces and maybe it could be one of them.But real spirituality starts when one renounces wholeheartedly.The world is a play.It should be played until one gets opened inside," He said.

I don't want to argue with him.In fact, my intention was to know about his way of life like how he got his expenses to cope up with journeys, food and so on.He had his own convictions to lead his life.smiled at him with reverence.

"Please, take it.You have given me your valuable time," I offered a ten-rupees note to him.He looked hesitantly and accepted it later with a smile.I got up and started to move from the banks of the river.Soon I reached by the side of enquiry counter at the temple,there was an announcement going on about the missing girl as she had been found out.I thought of that ocher robed person.The riverside man whom I met a few minutes back.In other sense, he was also missing one for his family, if there was anything like it. (the End) 

Saturday, April 27, 2019

This is also a love story, I think..!

Sometimes things taught you well before in advance.By seeing or hearing of others' lives intently, you would be vigilant about the same shouldn't creep in to your own life.As usual, the melancholic sight that pumps the real lethal blow to memorize the lesson.How should I tell you all as it does belong to a human being and of whom I got a little acquaintance, of course with a distance to maintain?I should better not be sophomoric or oral acrobatic.There are limits.And let me pass on with what I have in me.

That was about some two and half a decade's back, I was used to visit our local temple once or twice a week.Now stopped going to any temples, please don't ask me the reasons.It's rather a big story and it would encompasses all this piece of work.One of our college mates had also frequented the holy place.After having obeisances, we got into a chat, about various issues of what had taken place in our college.By the way, She was a well trained singer and had a good fandom.She told me once that which always got down her having the first prize whenever she participated.It made me chuckled since it's the dream of everybody.Lots of days, lots of talks.Days went by and suddenly her presence was not there.I couldn't figure out any reason, for our talks only based on time tested discreet and decency.

Quite unexpectedly, at a different town after so many years, we encountered in a meeting where she must have been called for her rendition.Our eyes met and I was expecting a surprise wish but to my astonishment, she had quit the dais and vanished as swift as she could.What made her to do so, I was sure of her awareness about my presence.And in no way, I harmed her.A lot of quizzical exercise in my brain.First time I approved the overheard saying that "oh...These women are not to be understood, their ways and means."And at the same time, my conscience kept warning me that there was something wrong with your intention.She had her own life to lead with her own problems.I postponed my judgement.Of all, who am I to do it?

However, I had observed some sadness or being dejected in her face.I trust my instincts over many important situations of life whether it's me or others.I could grasp the woes of an average woman of our society.What sort of tribulations and trauma she was to go through was beyond the imagination, sometimes.Being a child in those dark days of my life phase,I know how shattered relations in a family would pierce the spirit of hope and happiness.And it squeezes marrow of the life.After all these years, I understand that nothing is deserved cursing since every dark and light side has its own influence on the life.Sometimes the suffering brings the best out of our life.Here, I should thank my Grand father, for he had introduced me for a great place in my life.That's library.Life has a symbolic connection with every happening.Through that I plunged into the world of travelling and which never seized to leave me.

Well, anxious about the lady? Yes, all of a sudden another encounter happened in some program where we had a talk on presenting my book.She now seemed good and talked enthusiastically.Felt relieved.I never insisted the past to come up with.Onset of light makes everything bright.She phoned me one day and explained how her life had taken cruel twists with the first marriage.And the mental trauma she underwent thereof. I sighed at it as I already thought of something alarm she met with.Above all, she asked me to meet her present husband to feel how great he was in every aspect.Her account made me joyful.As she had got her highest position in education and employment, I Congratulated her.

Education and employment, they would play a crucial role in today's woman's life. That I understand through two lives I come across and when my friends or relatives poking the issue of my daughter's marriage,I always shot back with my stubborn reply as it should be first education and employment.You could ask me, don't they have problems? Yes, there will always be.But they are negotiable and prone to overcome.

* * * *
"It looks great.Why don't you improve it into a good story" One of my blogger friends asked me.In fact, the above write-up has been submitted by me as a piece of article in response of Indeblogger competition.I too have such feel inside me.In fact, I planned it to be precise in every aspect because I was thought of it for the particular format.What's up?

Yes, WhatsApp came to my rescue.I sent the article to her by WhatsApp to elicit her response.Be it positive or negative,come what may, no problem,because there was no name mentioned in it and at the same time one could feel the story.See how things take one into their grip to connive to achieve their ending. 

Surprised to have reply at once.Here are our WhatsApp messages.

"'s my story. Nice to here more of it."Her message.

" Well... thank you.And which applies to all universal success stories" My message.

"All those innocent days seemed to have come back through your words"

"True.In one sense you're correct " 

" I don't understand what you want to tell me,no offence please." 

"Frankly speaking, I have penned it for a competition" 

"Perfect.Reality always has its own charm.I understand it now." 

"Admitted. And do you know how did fascinating stories always come to surface to lilt the human's heart? " 

"Shed me some light" 

"It should always have come from their own experiences.Of what they see, feel and mix. " 

"A judicious mix of fiction is also necessary,hope you understand what I mean" 

"That's true. And a writer's responsibility too" 

That's how our messages concluded.I wish I was there in the temple at the moment, at our's not possible with me now.Because I stopped going there for many reasons.One of them is my conviction grew into non-Idol worship. (the End)

---Murthy Kvvs