Monday, July 29, 2013

Fifty Years Later

It was after a long time that I was visiting my sisters’ place. Both of my elder sisters are living in the same village called Hokkalike in the interior Malnad region of Karnataka. Though the village belongs to Koppa taluk in Chickmagalur district, it also lies close to Thirthahalli which falls in Shimoga district. The place is also situated very close to Kuppalli, a village from where the distinguished Kannada poet Kuvempu (Dr.K V Puttappa) hailed.

The Karnataka Government has built a museum here to preserve the memory of the famous poet. The Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) runs a Rajahamsa luxury bus to Kuppalli as the place has become a travelers’ destination. I was traveling alone in this bus as my wife could not make the trip. This trip was indeed very special for me. As the bus moved out of the busy Majestic bus-stand my mind went back by 50 years.

Yes! Indeed fifty years it had been since I ventured out of my home in my village for the first time to stay with my sister to study for my class VI. It was in May 1959 that my eldest brother took me to my eldest sister’s house to admit me to the Middle School at a place called Basavani. The school had a very high reputation for its standards on account of a famous Head Master by name Varadachar. I was in very high spirits as I knew I could have all the comfort of life under the protection of my sister, who was very soft by nature. My brother-in-law was very well-to-do, quite unlike our family which was finding it difficult to make both ends meet. I was aware that I could lead a comfortable life without the hardships we had to face at my home.

I had to walk for three miles daily to reach my school at Basavani. That was no problem for me as it was very common to walk for long distances in those days. Eventually my second sister was also married off to a person in the same village. I had an eventful three years stay in my sisters’ place till I completed class VIII.
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It was about 6 am in the morning when the bus reached a place called Gadikal (means border-stone in Kannada as the place is on the border of Chickmagalur and Shimoga districts). My eldest sister’s house is situated about 3 kms from this place. I used to walk the distance comfortably in those days. Now buses are plying through the village. But I had narrowly missed the first bus. I thought of walking through the route for which I was accustomed so much. It used to pass through forest, paddy fields and hillocks, which were so familiar and which I used to enjoy so much. But I was told that the route was no more in use and was blocked as people preferred to travel by bus only. Eventually I hired an auto and reached my sister’s place within 15-20 minutes.

My brother-in-law is no more. My sister’s eldest son who was born while I was studying at the place is looking after the family. There are about twenty houses in the village as against about ten houses then. I found that the heads of all the families at the time of my schooling have passed away except one gentleman called Ramaiah. But he had gone totally deaf and there was absolutely no chance of me recollecting any events of those days with him. Surprisingly and fortunately all the better-halves of the family-heads were very much there except one person who was very close to me. Her name was Gopi, the wife of the younger brother of my brother-in-law. Gopi was a lovable, affectionate and dominating lady who died a year back and whom I miss so much.

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I had an intention to meet some of my classmates if they were still living in the same place. I had two of my favourite classmates staying in the nearby places who used to walk to the school with me. The first boy (then!) was Lakshminarayana and the other was Manjunath. Even though I had never visited their houses, I knew the locations. In the morning I went in search of Lakshminarayana in a place called Charanabylu. It was not difficult for me to locate the place. I took directions from the people on my way and reached his typical Malnad house in the midst of forest and arecanut gardens.

Lakshminarayana was a simple boy who was the eldest son of his reasonably rich parents. I liked him very much and enjoyed his company. But he was not good in studies. His father asked him to discontinue his studies and help him look after the lands. As a result I lost his company after one year. I never saw him again. As I knocked at the door of his house, my heart beat fast in anticipation of seeing him after almost 50 years! It could have been a like a movie visual. A 12-year young boy suddenly turning out to be a 60-year old man! I waited with bated breath. A senior lady came out with an understandable question mark on her face! I enquired about Lakshminarayana and told her that I was his classmate and had come to see him after 50 years!

It took sometime for her to understand what I was telling her. Once she understood, she asked me to sit down and have a cup of coffee. But there was disappointment in store for me as Lakshminarayana had gone to the paddy fields three miles away from the house and would return only by evening. Nevertheless she spoke to me freely in her typical Malnad-Kannada style. They have a daughter and a son both of whom were in Bangalore. While the daughter was married, the son was employed. The couple was finding it difficult to look after the lands without any support at this stage of their life. This is a typical situation in our Malnad these days. With their children moving away from the villages, the parents do not know what to do with their ancestral lands to which they are so much sentimentally attached.

I asked the lady about Manjunath, my other classmate. She knew him well as his sister had been married to her brother. His family had moved away after selling the lands. He had some business near Hosanagar. That was another disappointment for me. The lady asked me to come again to meet her husband. Actually she could not believe that a person could come in search of a classmate after 50 years!

As I was coming back to my sister’s house I was thinking whether I would be able to go back to meet my classmate on the next day. Actually I could not visualise an elderly lady as the wife of my classmate whom I could recollect only as a boy of 11-12 years age! But the picture would have been complete only after seeing him physically in his present day personality. Owing to other commitments, I could not get back to him again. As a result my dear classmate remains in my memory as an ever young boy of 11-12 years age!
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The next day I decided to visit Basavani to see my old school and find out whether any of my classmates were still there. Actually I wanted to walk the three-mile distance so that I could recollect the incidents associated with each of the places on the way. But I had to travel by bus for want of time. I got down at the entry point of the small town and started walking. Actually Basavani was a model village even in those days thanks to the enlightened local leaders. It had electricity, piped water supply, a post office, a rice mill, bus facility and a Govt. hospital.

I passed in front of a bungalow, which was so famous in those days. It belonged to an aristocratic family headed by a gentleman called Subba Bhat. The bungalow had a vast beautiful garden in front inviting the attention of the people traveling on the road. Subba Bhat owned a big chunk of agricultural land and the only rice mill in the locality. He sure was a big shot and the family had an enviable position in the town. His first son Chidambar was studying in class VIII when I joined the school.

I found the bungalow in a dilapidated condition and the garden in a state of mess. The old-world charm had simply disappeared. It appeared to be telling a story, which was not to my liking. I quickly moved past towards my memorable old school. I started imagining the presence of my beloved teachers there including the famous Varadachar! I also remembered the huge tank in front of the school, which supplied water to the town. My heart started beating fast as I approached the location. Yes! They were there - both the school building and the tank in front. While the tank was in an excellent condition (much better than those days), the school building carried the name board of a coffee shop!

There was a small house adjacent to the school building. I saw a gentleman doing some manual work in front of the house using a spade. He was a lame man and I suddenly recollected that Subba Bhat had a son called Gopal who had a problem with one of his legs. He was junior to me in school. I went and stood near him:
Me: Are you Gopal, the son of Subba Bhat?
Gentleman: Sure. But who are you and how do you know me?
Me: My name is Krishnamurthy. I was studying in the middle school here 50 years back!
Gopal: Oh! My God! You could recognize me after 50 years!
Me: What happened to your original famous house? Who is living there? Where is Chidambar, your eldest brother? Who owns the rice mill now?
Gopal: Chidambar is in Bangalore. We had a family partition and my brother Murali stays in our old bungalow. We sold the rice mill.
Me: Chidambar was my senior. Where is the middle school now? I am finding a coffee shop there! I had two of my classmates here – Sridhramurthy and Satyanarayana. I know Sridharamurthy is in Bangalore. What about Satyanarayana?
Gopal: The middle school has moved to a new building not far from here. Satyanarayana is very much here. He is the local postmaster. Today being a Sunday, you can meet him at his home.

I was very sentimentally attached to the school playground on the backside of the building at some distance. Gopal told me that it had been converted to a private land, but was still vacant. I thanked Gopal and quickly went in search of the playground. I could locate it. But it was completely fenced. I simply slipped inside the fenced area and could visualise my erstwhile playground in its original form! I sat there for sometime with my eyes closed to get back to the days when I used to play with my schoolmates there. Oh! I saw all of them coming back one by one! There was that sturdy Shankarappa followed by the tall and well-built Vasachari (the Kabaddi champion) and behind him was the slippery customer Thimmappa! Within no time there were the two teams and the game began in its earnest! I was fully into the game, when I suddenly woke up to find a dog barking loudly from a nearby house.
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I quickly got up and moved towards the Someshwara temple on the banks of River Tunga in the town. I knew Satyanarayana lived somewhere nearby the temple. I was right. A gentleman guided me to his house through a narrow road surrounded by trees. In front of the house I saw some men busy with some manual work. I asked them where was Satyanarayana. One of them got up and moved towards me. I could recognize him; he was the Satyanarayana I had last seen so many years back! I told him my name. He could recollect and recognized me immediately. He shouted my name in excitement! We shook hands and moved into the house as the excitement started abating.

Satyanarayana was heading a joint family. He was leading a contented life. His wife could not believe that one of her husband’s classmates was visiting him after nearly 50 years. Two of their sons were also at home at that time and expressed lot of warmth towards their father’s age-old friend and classmate. Both of us recollected our school days and the happy memories for more than an hour. It was then time for me to get back to the town to catch the bus for my sister’s place.

I reached the bus-stop and sat there recollecting my days in the town once again. A Rip Van Winkle syndrome started engulfing me.  The events of the three years I spent in the small town started flooding back in my memory…… Suddenly I heard something moving at the back of the bus-stop. I went there and saw a dilapidated well. I peeped inside. I saw a huge snake coming up from inside the well! As I moved back, it jumped out. Suddenly it raised its hood in full and looked at me. Did it recognize me? I do not know. But it appeared to be bidding farewell to me as it folded its hood and moved away fast! Suddenly I heard the sound of the horn of the bus. As I sat in the bus and moved away from the town my memories started fading away!
A V Krishnamurthy
26th October 2009

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


He got up very late on that morning. It was quite unusual of him. He had the regular habit of getting up early. Something happened in the last night which made him sleep till late morning hours. He tried to recollect. He was sure he had gone to bed at the usual time.

Yes, he had a nice dream. She had appeared in his dreams after a long time. It must have been an early morning dream which prolonged his sleep. He suddenly remembered his mother telling him often that the early morning dreams always turn in to reality. If only his mother’s words were to come true!

He now recollected the dream in full. He was sitting in a garden quite forlorn. Suddenly the whole place seemed to brighten up. He heard a melodious singing originating from a distance far away. He could see somebody moving slowly towards him. Was she an Apsara? He had heard about the singing and dancing Apsaras (Celestial Maiden). This Apsara was not dancing, but surely the melodious singing was from her only. She came up to him and stood right in front of him. Her face was covered by a thin veil. He was simply mesmerized! He tried to unveil her face. Yes! He did it and felt he was in a trance. She gave him that most beautiful smile on earth! Suddenly he could understand why a thousand ships had sailed from Greece to bring back one single beautiful lady from Troy! True! Homer was fully justified in writing that great epic!

But alas! His dream was cut short by a knock on the door!


Rahul was quite a young boy when he saw her for the first time. He was on a visit to his relative’s house for attending a family function. He could not take off his eyes from this young bubbling beauty!  She appeared to be shy, but still very talkative! She was quite unlike any village girl. Their eyes met once or twice. But there was nobody to introduce them and remove the strangeness between them. He was curious to know all about her. But kept his inquisitive nature on hold!

On his way back, Rahul spoke to his mother about this sweet girl. She made fun of him and asked him to explain the reasons for his undue interest! He felt quite shy, but still pressed his mother for details. The girl’s name was Vydehi and she was the beloved daughter of a gentleman called Anantha. This gentleman hailed from their village, but had shifted his residence to the city for doing business. He still had his lands in the village and would visit it occasionally during the year. He was said to be well-off and Vydehi was his only daughter.

Rahul was an intelligent boy. He always stood first in his class. None of the girls in his school interested him. But for the first time he found himself longing for this sweet girl. He was simply smitten by Vydehi! But she was in the far away city. He had to wait for her next visit.


The Dasara holidays arrived as usual. Rahul and his family were to attend the Navarathri festival in their relative’s house. It was the same house where Rahul had met Vydehi last year. As he was entering the house, Rahul’s heart started beating fast! And Lo! It even stopped beating suddenly!  She was indeed there! The playful and bubbling Vydehi!

This time he had to act. He asked one of his classmates who knew her to introduce him to her. This done, he could speak to her without any inhibitions. Rahul found Vydehi equally reciprocative. They had some interesting conversations. Being brought up in the city atmosphere she was quite outspoken. They got to know each other and shared a lot of information between them. They loved each other’s company.

In the evening Rahul had to leave the place along with his mother. Rahul told her that he wanted to inform Vydehi before leaving. He searched for her everywhere. But she was not to be seen. Somebody told him that she had already left with her parents. Rahul was very much disappointed. His mother could make out his discomfiture. Even though she wanted to make fun of him again she did not. She knew he would be hurt.

That night Rahul could not sleep well. The fact that Vydehi had left the place without informing had hurt him very much. Even though they were together only for a short duration, he thought they had become very close. While he was quite sure of it from his side, did Vydehi develop same feelings towards him? He did think so. But the fact that she left the place without informing him proved it otherwise! But something deep in his heart was telling him that she was definitely interested in him. He had to wait for her next visit.


Vydehi was standing outside the house. Her parents had suddenly decided to visit another house in the village. They searched for her and found her standing outside. They asked her to accompany them. It was a surprise for her as she did not expect them to leave at that time. She wanted to inform Rahul before leaving. But being a girl, she felt shy to tell her parents so. Finding her hesitant to leave with them, her parents told her that they would be back in the place for the evening. She hoped against hope that Rahul would not leave till she came back.

She did come back to the place in the evening. But she could not find Rahul. She was hugely disappointed. While she regretted leaving without telling him, what worried her more was that Rahul might have mistaken her.

She had a dream that night. She saw Rahul sitting in a garden alone. As she was approaching him, she found him suddenly moving away! She shouted for him in despair. But he never turned back. He simply disappeared in the far away blue skies!


Vydehi’s father took a decision to sell all his lands in the village. He wanted to invest more money in his business in the city. Having sold the property entirely he had no interest in visiting the village often. In fact he almost cut off his links with the village. Rahul was not aware of it. He was waiting for the next occasion to meet Vydehi. He was sure that he could definitely meet her at least during the Navarathri festival.

The Navarathri festival arrived as usual. Rahul’s mother was quite sure that he would be particular to visit his relative’s house for the Navarathri function. She just wanted to avoid taking him there. She was aware that Vydehi’s father had sold his lands and may not visit the village anymore. She did not want her beloved son to get disappointed. At the same time she did not want to disappoint him more by telling him the fact.

As expected Rahul told his mother that he would accompany her for the function as usual. She was helpless. As he was entering the house Rahul’s eyes were searching for his beloved. But she was not to be seen. After some time he could make out that her family was absent. He also could gather the information that her father had no more interest left in the village to visit it. He suddenly felt a big vacuum in his life! All these days he was eagerly waiting to meet Vydehi and convey his feelings for her. He was totally dejected. His mother could understand his feelings. She simply kept quiet.

Rahul had a dream that night. He was sitting in a garden. He saw his beloved Vydehi coming towards him. She came very close to him. He wanted to touch her. But she suddenly moved away. He tried to follow her. But she just disappeared in the far away blue skies!


Years passed by. Vydehi had finished her graduation and was into her final year post-graduation now. The bubbly girl had grown up to be a young beauty. One could not take his eyes off on seeing her! She was not only brilliant in her studies, but was well trained in music. Her parents were looking for a suitable groom for their sweet daughter. Whenever they raised this issue with her, her face would turn red! She was not revealing her mind. But her eyes were always in search for somebody. So far they had not rested on the person they were eagerly awaiting for!


Rahul was working for a multinational company in the city. He had come a long way from his boyhood days in his village. He had grown up as a handsome young man. He had a big friends-circle and was liked by one and all. He had developed interest in music and art. He had made it a point to attend all important music programmes in the city. But his ears were hungry to hear the music from one unknown artist! He was always eager to hear that ‘unheard melody’! But it remained just ‘unheard’ so far!

He used to visit his village often to meet his parents. They were very happy for their son’s achievements. Rahul had never disappointed them in his performances during his brilliant student career. Now that he was employed and settled down in his life, they were looking for the next obvious move in his life. But he was not revealing his mind. As he was very close to his mother, his father had left it to her to bring up the matter.

Rahul was very particular in visiting his village on one special occasion. That was during the Navarathri festival. He also used to visit the relative’s house for the usual function. It was there that he had met her for the first time. It was also there that he had seen her last!

Like every year Rahul reached his village during the Navarathri festival this time. The function at his relative’s house was always held on the ninth (Navami) day of the festival. On the previous (Ashtami) day Rahul could not sleep well. In the early morning hours he had that beautiful dream! He had just unveiled her and saw her beautiful face! But the dream was cut off by knocking of his room door by his beloved mother. She asked him to get ready early for visiting his relative’s house.


As they were entering the house they could hear the sweet music. The Navarathri function used to have such programmes from different artists. But for Rahul’s ears the music appeared to be quite familiar. He could not believe his ears. It was the same music he had heard in his dreams on the previous night! He looked at his mother curiously. He thought she had a smile on her face which she was trying to hide!

He slowly approached the podium. The voice of the singer appeared to get louder and louder! At the same time he could get a full view of the singer better and better! Yes! It was the same face he had unveiled in his dreams! Rahul could not make out what he was seeing now was another dream or for real! He simply froze and stood there like a statue without moving any further!

He was shaken by his mother who asked him to take a seat. He woke up now to the reality and understood that what he was seeing and hearing now was for real. He sat down and heard the melodious music. It was indeed the heavenly music he had heard from the most beautiful person of his dreams!

As the music came to an end the singer was being introduced to the audience. When the turn of Rahul came, his mother told him that she was Vydehi who was visiting the village after such a long time with her parents. Their eyes met after such a long time and they could not have enough of it! They were searching for each others since ages!


However much he tried Rahul could not meet Vydehi in privacy. There was absolutely no scope for it in that crowded function. Unlike in their childhood, they could not meet without attracting the attention of others. As he was leaving with his mother, he felt disappointed. His mother told him that there would be some guests at their house and they should reach home early. He left the place reluctantly.


Back in the house Rahul asked his mother who the guests were going to be. But his mother was not forthcoming. She told him to wait. He sat with his parents and was discussing his life at the city when the sound of a vehicle stopping in front of their house was heard. A senior couple walked in with their daughter in tow. It was none other than Vydehi and her parents! They had come with a proposal for Rahul at the invitation of his mother! The hungry eyes had another joyous union!

The parents asked Rahul and Vydehi to sit together and give their consent after mutual discussion. They proceeded to the garden together. The parents were not to wait for long. They saw the pair coming back within a short time holding their hands! Their dreams had come true!
A V Krishnamurthy
30th July 2008

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Good Samaritans

The other day I was in a hurry to catch a bus. I was crossing the main road to reach the bus stop at the other side of the road. While on half the way I found a bus just starting to leave the bus stop. I could see from the name board that I had to catch the same bus to reach my destination. I thought it was just futile for me to expect the driver to hold on till I reached the other end. But to my surprise I saw the driver signaling me that he was waiting for me to cross and get into the bus! I managed to get in and thanked the driver profusely. True, there are such service-minded persons even in a Government owned corporation like BMRTC. In fact their service has improved tremendously of late.

Many of us are under the impression that the State-owned undertakings and the Government departments are incapable of extending good customer service. But I have found the facts otherwise on a good number of occasions. The reality is that such things are rarely highlighted and only the deficiencies are publicized more.

The post office at the Jayanagar 9th Block is a fine example of how good the customer service could be in spite of all the adversities. I have often seen this office functioning with a minimum number of employees; still extending their normal services with smiling faces. If you visit the post office in the morning you will, on occasions, find the postmaster Mr. Manohar himself sorting the inward tappal. You will also find a single clerk attending the customers whether it is for a money order, registered post or for a national savings certificate. But if you think that your services may be delayed, you will be proved wrong! They will not allow you that luxury of blaming them for your reaching the office late!

You may not believe me if I tell you that the single clerk I have mentioned above is often a handicapped person. This office is having one such person who is handicapped and cannot use his left hand in a normal way. He can use it only to push the files. But you will find him extending his best services to all the customers with a smiling face. In fact he is so efficient that he can offer a tough competition to his peers in banks and other more sophisticated institutions!

It is often said that the efficiency should start from the top and flow down to the bottom. Indeed it is so at this post office. The other day I had tendered a national savings certificate for collection from Mysore. The postmaster had advised me to tender it one month in advance to the due date to avoid delay from the post office of issue. I had collected the visiting card of him to enable me to enquire over phone. I rang him up on the due date. You may not believe me! But the moment he heard my voice he told me that the payment advice had come. He did not even allow me to tell my name and furnish the details! I went over and collected my payment through the handicapped person referred above. When I thanked that man for the excellent service, he modestly told me that after all he was only doing his duty!

The Income Tax Office is one such office where everybody takes it for granted that things will always move with delay. In fact nobody wants to visit the office except for filing the annual returns. The follow up, if any, is entrusted to a consultant as nobody wishes to have an interface with a tax official!

It was in the above background that I had been postponing my visit to the IT office even though my refund order was overdue for nearly three years. But as my consultant was unable to help me out, I finally took a call one day. I visited the office located in the Unity buildings near Town Hall. I was asked to meet an officer by name Christable D’Mellow. The lady officer received me with due courtesies. When I told her about my case, she straightaway got up from her seat and went in search of the relevant records. But unfortunately she could not locate the same in spite of her best efforts for nearly half an hour. She was disappointed and finally told me to contact her after two days. She gave me her mobile number and assured me that she will ensure my refund order once she got the records. She also took my telephone numbers.

Imagine my surprise when I got a call from her on my mobile within two days. She told me to call on her with a stamp paper as I had to execute an indemnity to collect the duplicate refund order. Accordingly I met her with the stamp paper and executed the indemnity. She introduced me to her assistant Balakrishna and asked me to collect the refund order from him after two days as it was to be arranged from another office.

I contacted Balakrishna after two days. He told me to ring him up after two more days. I was about to conclude that he was a typical Government employee after all. But I was shocked to hear the reason for the delay from him. He told me that he was readying my last year refund order also! He wanted me to collect the two refund orders together! It was too much for me! I could not believe my ears. But it was true. Mr. Balakrishna delivered me both the instruments when I called on him. Long live the tribe of Christable and Balakrishna! Such people are the jewels in a department like income tax, which few would like to visit.

The above are instances of people excelling in their normal functional areas. They are following certain ‘best practices’ without the same being applauded in any of the forums. But there are also certain people who go out of their way to help their associates when it is absolutely not expected from them. Let me put on record what my bosses did for me just for excelling in my normal duties.

Mr. B R Nayak was my Divisional Manager when I was working as a Manager in Canara Bank Canning Street, Calcutta branch, way back in 1985-87. He was a master in handling corporate advances, having worked in major branches in Bombay and New Delhi. Mr. Arup Guin, a Bengali gentleman, was my Senior Manager. We had an excellent team in the office under the leadership of Mr. Nayak. During the entire two-year period, Mr. Guin made it a point to pick me up in his car on our daily journey to the office. He acted like my elder brother looking after my interests while I was in Calcutta.

On a particular day Mr. Guin told Mr. Nayak that he would be on leave for a week. The moment he heard this Mr. Nayak called his driver to his cabin. He told him to ensure that I was picked up daily for a week in his car till Mr. Guin reported back for duty! It was too much for me. But Nayak ensured it later also. In fact on one occasion he had to take leave simultaneously with Guin. But he did not allow me to travel by bus even then. He arranged with Mr. Kamath of Brabourne Road branch to pick me up daily! Nayak was very particular in ensuring that his colleagues were comfortable always. He followed his own ‘best practices’ wherever he went and is fondly remembered even to this day by all his colleagues. Long live Mr. Nayak, wherever you are now!

When it comes to social services there are any number of areas where you can engage yourself. But I was witness to a strange but innovative way of offering help to the weaker section while I was working in Bombay. I would like to end this article by narrating this event.

The route number 84 from Santacruz West to Flora Fountain (Hutatma Chowk) is a very popular BEST bus route in Mumbai. It runs almost parallel to western Railway between the Santacruz and Churchgate stations. But the bus journey is more enjoyable as it passes through areas like Prabhadevi, Mahalakshmi, Hajee Ali and Marine lines with the beautiful Arabian Sea view for quite a long distance. I used to travel on this route occasionally only to enjoy the journey.

On one such occasion I found two young men boarding the bus at the Santacruz depot. As usual the bus was almost full at the starting point itself. The bus had just passed Mahim when an elderly couple got into the bus. The two young men got up and offered their seats to the couple, who thanked them profusely. By the time the bus reached Bandra, the young men had been able to occupy seats again. But I found them restless and it was as if they were waiting for somebody. At Matunga two elderly ladies got in. The young men’s face lit up. They got up immediately and offered their seats to the ladies. I could see lot of satisfaction in the faces of the young men when the ladies occupied the seats thankfully.

The two men continued their venture of occupying the seats and vacating them for the aged persons and ladies till the bus reached its ultimate destination at Flora Fountain. I was quite amused and spoke to them when they got down. They explained to me that they were traveling in the route only with the motive of offering seats to such persons! It was their way of contributing to the welfare of elders and weaker sections. They did that whenever they had time to spare. Before I could offer them my appreciation they got back into the bus again as the same was ready for the return journey. They started once again on their ‘most purposeful and meaningful’ journey in the great city of Bombay! I was left speechless wondering whether there could be anymore innovative ways of extending social service. Hats off to the young men! Long live their tribe!
A V Krishnamurthy
14th January, 2009

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Sridhar – The Mystery Man

He is a man with a ‘contrast’
Certainly difficult to predict
No assessment of him is right
If you try, I pity your plight!

His life-partner is a musician
His only daughter is a statistician
He is a veteran Bangalorean
What more one needs for satisfaction?

Belongs to the school of Ramanuja
But talks the philosophy of Sankara
One day he is at Srirangam
Next time he is at Sringeri!

He was born in Malleshwaram
His E-mail address is Mandyam!
Had his graduation in science
Chose a career in commerce!

Began his career in a bank
Was quite happy to be frank
Everything appeared to be just right
With a family so compact!

The career looked quite bright
He got his promotion all right
He even served in a village
It gave his career some mileage!

He was posted to Belgaum
Worked there for sometime
But soon he got so fed up
He just decided to wind up!

It appears he had some tension
He simply opted for pension
It was a sudden decision
With really no intention!

He developed skills in computer
Joined ISKCON at Rajajinagar
Handling accounts was easy
Things appeared to be rosy!

It was time to move again
Software appeared to be fine
He opted for the domain
But soon decided to resign!

Now he joined the ‘Ascent’
The move appeared decent
Working for a NGO was fine
But soon spirits began to wane!

He then tried to be different
And forayed into audit
Indeed he had some interest
But the end was equally abrupt!

Next in line was investment
Joined the field as consultant
Earnings here appeared decent
And there was no dull moment!

It was time to move again
Office in Malleswaram was fine
The company was Informatics India
Appeared to be a good idea!

He began it as part time
Then shifted to full time
Work was to sit with a magazine
Go through it again and again!

Finally he was at peace
Still he wanted some solace
One day he was near Tunga
Next time he was near Ganga!

It looked he would be a saint
At Rishikesh he lived in a tent
Came back after a fortnight
And made his colleagues faint!

Expecting him in saffron
They planned to make some fun
But finding him in a black T-shirt
They had their mouths fully shut!

Hats off to this gentleman
Nobody knows his next plan
His life is shrouded in mystery
If you go through his past history!
- A V Krishnamurthy
11th December 2009

Monday, July 15, 2013


Heard melodies are sweet;
But those unheard are sweeter
                                   -John Keats
She had just returned from US. She was on a visit to her sister’s place. A long stay of more than six months abroad had resulted in a major change in her personality. She was no more that small-town girl Kasturi. She had definitely changed a lot. At least that was what she thought of herself.

Had she really changed? When she got up on that beautiful morning it did not seem so. She had this regular habit of waking up early in the morning when she was at home. She also used to go on a long walk in the early morning. The track was always the same. Her feet would invariably draw her to that small but beautiful lake not far from her home. At the one end of the lake, stood, this big Bakul tree. During the flowering season the entire ground below the tree would appear to be a bed of roses. Their fragrance could be smelt even from her house. This time also the same fragrance attracted Kastuir’s nose and simply pulled her feet up to it! She felt she was walking in a dream!

Yes! She was at the place for sure! The tree was there full of flowers. The entire earth below looked beautiful with fallen flowers. The blue waters of the lake combined with the bed of flowers created a beautiful atmosphere. Kasturi had reached her most beloved place on earth. But was she happy? She missed the presence of her most beloved. Without him the most beautiful place became the most painful! The fragrance of the flowers brought the sweet memories back. But they also brought back the pains of separation!

She was quite young when she saw him for the first time. Her father was the chairman of the village school committee. The Head Master of the school came to visit her father for discussion on some administration matters. He had brought this young boy with him who was a student of the school. The boy was introduced to her father as the best student of the school. His name was Shyamal. He was a smart young boy with an intelligent looking face.

Kasturi was the beloved daughter of her father and used to be with him whenever any visitor dropped in. She was still young and had not been admitted to the school yet. She had lovely features. When her eyes met Shyamal’s she developed an instant liking for him. In fact she wanted to speak to him right away. But she could not. So she waited for an opportunity. That opportunity came up very fast.

It was the annual day function in the school. The chairman was invited to be the chief guest. Kasturi accompanied her father for the occasion. She saw Shyamal coming on the stage several times to collect the prizes from her father. She was quite in awe of him. Once when he was getting down from the stage she lifted her hands to wish him. Lo! She could attract his attention. He came to her seat and shook her hands. He fully recognized her and spoke to her. Kasturi could not speak. She was totally mesmerized by his presence.

 Kasturi wanted Shyamal’s company desperately. She was totally infatuated with him. She had her opportunity when she was admitted to the same school. Luckily she found that Shyamal was to pass near her house on his way to school. She told her father she would go with him daily. Shyamal also had other boys and girls with him for company on his way. Hence however much she tried she could not have his exclusive attention. But she was still happy just to be with him.

Kasturi was very fond of Bakul flowers. She would daily collect the same from a tree very near her house. She would make a garland and offer it to God Krishna during Pooja. She would carry the same to School on many occasions. She had one innermost desire. That was to ask Shyamal to fix it on her plait! But she could never gather sufficient courage to do that!

The years passed by. Shyamal being a senior student completed his schooling. He had to move to the City to take up his college education. Kasturi lost his company and became desolate. All her dreams to have a close association with Shyamal appeared to have come to an end. While Shyamal did show special affection towards her occasionally, she could not convince herself that the infatuation she had developed for him was duly reciprocated.

Kasturi had no occasion to meet Shyamal quite for some time. The years passed by. She was in the final year of her schooling. She had grown up to be a beautiful maiden. Her yearning for Shyamal never came down. She herself was about to move to the City to take up her College education.

During the summer holidays she was waiting for her results. One fine morning she was on her way to the Bakul tree for collecting the flowers as per her daily routine. She saw a smart young boy sitting below the tree. On reaching closer, she found the boy smiling at her. And Lo! Kasturi could not believe her eyes. It was indeed Shyamal for whom she had waited so infinitely. When her eyes met that of Shyamal’s, her entire dreams so far appeared to have come true.

Shyamal had come home for his summer holidays. He was on his morning walk when he had suddenly remembered Kasturi. It seems he was aware of Kasturi’s daily presence near Bakul tree in the morning. He waited for her sitting below the tree. He was right. He could see Kasturi approaching the place within a short time. As for Kasturi, the heavens had just opened up!

For the first time Kasturi could speak to Shyamal privately without any inhibitions. Their first day together after such a long time allowed them to have a free exchange of their present state of affairs. Shyamal had completed his professional degree and was waiting for his results. There was every possibility that he could be proceeding to US for his Masters degree. Kasturi was disappointed to know that by the time she moved to the City to pursue her College education, Shyamal would proceed abroad.

Shyamal made it a point to meet her daily near the Bakul tree. The two would go on a long walk together. Kasturi gradually lost all her inhibitions and could speak to him freely. They would sit on the banks of the lake below the Bakul tree and spend their time in conversation endlessly. They were totally unaware of the summer holidays running out fast.

Like all good things their daily meetings also had to come to an end. One fine morning Shyamal had to leave the place in preparation for his proceeding abroad. Almost simultaneously Kasturi had to move to the City to take up her College education. Their parting was painful. Kasturi expected Shyamal to keep in touch with her. At the time of separation only she remembered that she had miserably failed to express her feelings to Shyamal so far. Their conversations all these days were surely encompassing all the matters except the most crucial one! Both of them had kept untouched this most important aspect of their life at that age. Definitely love was blooming in the heart of Kasturi. But as regards Shyamal she found him holding his cards close to his chest!

Kasturi continued her College education in the City. She had no occasion to meet Shyamal any more. Neither Shyamal kept any communication window open for her. She completed her graduation and was back at her place. Her parents started looking for a suitable bridegroom for her. Kasturi was least interested. But she could not express the same to them.

She got an opportunity to escape from the situation. Her only sister had come to India from US on a holiday. She asked her to come with her to US and stay for some time. Kasturi readily agreed. There was no objection from her parents. She accompanied her sister and visited US.

She had a nice time in US. She visited all the important places of interest with her sister’s family. But her one important purpose of meeting Shyamal never materialized. She had no way of finding his location in US. She was reluctant to return to India. She was aware her parents would force her for marriage. But obviously she could not stay there indefinitely.


Suddenly Kasturi heard some body calling her name loudly. She realized that she had been sitting there for a long time.  It was her mother calling her. She had come in search and found her beloved daughter sitting below the tree desolately. She was surprised to find that Kasturi had not collected any flowers so far. She could understand that something was burning in the mind of her beautiful and young daughter. She did not look the normal energetic and spirited Kasturi.

That afternoon Kasturi was reading the translation of Sharatchandra’s famous Bengali novel Shreekantha. She was comparing herself to the character of Rajalakshmi. The childhood longing of Rajalakshmi for Shreekantha was so similar to her own! She wondered whether Shyamal would really turn out to be her Shreekantha in the end. Suddenly her mother entered her room. She told her that a senior couple would be visiting them in an hour. Kasturi could understand. They must be the parents of her ‘would be bridegroom’. She kept herself silent. But she could not sit in her room any longer.

She left for her most beloved place on earth under the shades of the great Bakul tree. She continued reading the saga of the romantic pair of Rajalakshmi and Shreekantha. Oh! Their love was so eternal but still so elusive!  She was so deeply engrossed in their great romantic affair that she failed to observe somebody approaching her. That ‘somebody’ stood so close to her; but Kasturi was still undisturbed! He threw a small pebble into the lake.

Kasturi could not believe her eyes. Her ‘Shreekantha’ was indeed standing by the side of her! He slowly whispered in her ears. “I have a question for you”. The novel in Kasturi’s hands slipped away. Shyamal tried to hold it from falling. A photograph slipped out from the book. Kasturi just closed her eyes. Shyamal collected the photograph. It was his own! Kasturi had cut it from her school magazine and had preserved the same for years. Shyamal again whispered to her, “I don’t have that question any more!” Kasturi snatched the photograph from him and held it close to her heart. She whispered in Shyamal’s ears.  “I know.  I don’t have to answer that question any more!”

They held each other’s hands and walked slowly towards the lake. Just then they saw their parents coming towards them. Seeing the two holding their hands they felt they also didn’t have any questions to ask!

A V Krishnamurthy
17th February 2008

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The School Textbooks of Our Times - Episode No. 5

One of the most interesting and beautiful poems in our textbooks was an extract from Kavirajamarga (ಕವಿರಾಜಮಾರ್ಗ) written by the famous emperor Nrupathunga, also called Amoghavarsha (800-874 CE). Nrupathunga, was a Rashtrakoota emperor and one of the greatest emperors of India. His reign of 64 years is one of the longest monarchical reign on record. Historians have compared him to legendary emperor Ashoka for his love of peace and religious temperament. He moved his capital from Mayurkhandi in Bidar district to Manykheta in Gulbarga district. The poem gives a spectacular and vivid description of Karnataka of yesteryears (for the first time) that extended from the River Kaveri to River Godavari.I have furnished below the first part of the poem from my memory:

ಕಾವೇರಿಯಿಂದ ಗೊದಾವರಿವರೆಗಮಿರ್ದಾ ವಸುಧಾತಳವಳಯ
ಭಾವಿಸೆ ಕರ್ಣಾಟ ಜನಪದವದನಾವನೊಲಿದು ಬಣ್ಣಿಸುವನು

ಭೂರಮೆಯುಟ್ಟಿಲ್ಲ ದಿಟ್ಟದುಕೂಲದ ಸೀರೆಗಳಂತೆ ಕಂಗೊಲಿಪ
ಭೂರಿನದಿಗಳಾ ಕರ್ಣಾಟ ಭೂಮಿಯೋಳೋರಂತೆ ಪರಿದೆಸೆದಿಹುದು

ಶರಧಿಯನೊಲಿದಮರದಪ್ಪಲಾ ತೊರೆವನ್ಗಲಿರದೆ ನೀಡಿದಾ ಕೈಗಳೆನಲು
ಕರಮೆಸೆದಿರ್ಪುವು ಪರಿಕಾಲ್ಗಾಳಾನಾಡ ಸಿರಿಯನದೇನ ಬಣ್ಣಿಪೆನು

ನಂದನದಂತೆ ನೋಳ್ಪರಾ   ಕಣ್ಗಳಿಗಾನಂದವನಿರದೆ ಪುಟ್ಟಿಸುವ
ಕುಂದದ ಫಲತತಿಯಿಂದ ಮೆರೆವ ವನವೃಂದದಿಂದೆಸುವಾದಾ ಭೂಮಿ

ನಾರಿ ಕೇಳಾಮ್ರ ಪನಸ ಕದಳಿ ಕರ್ಜೂರ ಚಂಪಕ ಚಂದನಾದಿಗಳಿಂದ
ಆರಾಮದಿಂದ ರಂಜಿಸುತಿಹುದು ಕಣ್ಗೆ ಪಾರಣೆಯನು ಪಾಂಥಜನದ

ದೇವನದೀ ಮಾತ್ರುರ್ವಕೋ ರ್ವರೆಯಿಂದದು ದೇವಲೋಕವನೇಳಿಸುತ   
ಭೂವನಿತೆಯ  ಧಾನ್ಯ ದಕ್ಷಯ ನಿಧಿಯಂ ತಾವಗಮೆಸೆದಿರುತಿಹುದು  
                                       -----ನೃಪತುಂಗನ ಕವಿರಾಜಮಾರ್ಗದಿಂದ

Another interesting poem was Hadibadeya Dharma (ಹದಿಬದೆಯ ಧರ್ಮ)  written by Sanchiya Honnamma (ಸಂಚಿಯ ಹೊನ್ನಮ್ಮ) . She was one of the just a handful of women poets mentioned in the traditional histories of Kannada literature. She was said be a part of the royal court of Chikkadevaraya (1673-1704), the king of Mysore. I am reproducing below the first two stanzas of the poem from my memory:

ಹದಿಬದೆಯ ಧರ್ಮ
ಪೆಣ್ ಲ್ಲವೇ ನಮ್ಮನೆಲ್ಲ ಹಡೆದ  ತಾಯಿ
ಪೆಣ್ ಲ್ಲವೇ ನಮ್ಮನೆಲ್ಲ ಪೊರೆದವಳು
ಪೆ ಣ್ಣು ಪೆಣ್ಣೆ ನ್ದೇತಕೆ  ಬೀಳುಗಳೆವರು
ಕಣ್ಣು ಕಾಣದ ಗಾವಿಲರು

ಕುವರನಾದೊಡೆ ಬಂದ ಗುಣ ವೇನದರಿಂದೆ?
ಕುವರಿಯಾದೊಡೆ ಕುಂದೇನು?
ಇವರೀರ್ವ ರವರೇಳ್ಗೆ  ಪಡೆದರೆ
ಪವಡಿಹುದು ಇಹಪರ ಸೌಕ್ಯ
              --ಸಂಚಿಯ ಹೊನ್ನಮ್ಮ
The other important poems from my memory include those from the legendary Kannada poets Panje Mangesha Rao, Rashtrakavi M. Govinda Pai and Kuvempu.

ಹುತ್ತ್ಹರಿಯ  ಹಾಡು
ಎಲ್ಲಿ ಭೂರಮೆ ದೇವ ಸನ್ನಿಧಿ ಬಯಸಿ ಬಿಮ್ಮನೆ ಬಂದಳೋ
ಎಲ್ಲಿ ಮೋಹನ ಗಿರಿಯ ಬೆಡಗಿನ ರೂಪಿನಿಂದಲೇ ನಿಂದಳೋ
ಅಲ್ಲೆ ಆಕಡೆ ನೋಡೆಲಾ ಅಲ್ಲೇ ಕೊಡವರ  ನಾಡೆಲಾ
ಅಲ್ಲೇ  ಕೊಡವರ ಬೀಡೆಲಾ
                        ------ಪಂಜೆ ಮಂಗೇಶ್ ರಾವ್
ಸುಂಟರ ಗಾಳಿ
ಬರುತಿದೆ ಅಹಹಾ ದೂರದಿ ಬರುತಿದೆ
ಬುಸುಗುಟ್ಟುವ ಪಾತಾಳದ ಹಾವೋ
ಹಸಿವಿನ ಭೂತದ ಕೂಗುವ ವೋವೋ
ಹೊಸತಿದು ಕಾಲನ ಕೋಣನ ವೋವೋ
                   ---- ಪಂಜೆ ಮಂಗೇಶ್ ರಾವ್
ಕನ್ನಡ ಮಾತೆ
ತಾಯೆ ಬಾರ ಮೊಗವ ತೋರ
ಕನ್ನಡಿಗರ ಮಾತೆಯೇ
ಹರಸು ತಾಯೆ ಸುತರ ಕಾಯೆ
ನಮ್ಮ ಜನ್ಮದಾತೆಯೇ
-------- --ಎಂ ಗೋವಿಂದ ಪೈ
ಕುಮಾರ ವ್ಯಾಸ
ಕುಮಾರ ವ್ಯಾಸನು ಹಾಡಿದನೆಂದರೆ
ಕಲಿಯುಗ ದ್ವಾಪರವಾಗುವುದು
ಭಾರತ ಕಣ್ಣಲಿ ಕುಣಿಯುವುದು
ಮೈಯಲಿ ಮಿಂಚಿನ ಹೊಳೆ ತುಳುಕಾಡುವುದು
ಆ ಕುರುಭೂಮಿಯು ತೋರುವುದು
ಸುಗ್ಗಿಯ ಹಾಡು
ಅಡಿಯ ಗೆಜ್ಜೆ ನಡುಗೆ ಹೆಜ್ಜೆ
ಇಡುತ ಸುಗ್ಗಿ ಬರುತಿದೆ
ಸುಗ್ಗಿಬರೆ ಹಿಗ್ಗಿತೆರೆ
ಸಗ್ಗ ಸೊಗವ ತರುತಿದೆ
The following two beautiful poems were written by the great writers DVG and Kuvempu. Both the poems carried important messages for our future. But unfortunately for us our school teachers could make little sense out of these poems! They merely asked us to byheart them and reproduce! Of course we did it faithfully. So much so that I can reproduce both of them in full after all these years. We could realise the meaning of the two poems only at a later stage of our life.
ವನಸುಮ ದೊಳೆನ್ನ ಜೀವನವು
ವಿಕಸಿಸುವಂತೆ ಮನವ ನನುಗೊಳಿಸು
ಗುರುವೇ ಹೇ ದೇವ

ಕಾನನದಿ ಮಲ್ಲಿಗೆಯು
ಮೌನದಿಂ ಬಿರಿದು
ನಿಜಸೌರಭವ ಸೂಸಿ ನಲವಿಂ
ತಾನೆಲೆಯ ಪಿಂತಿರ್ದು ದೀನತೆಯ ತೋರಿ
ಅಭಿಮಾನವನು ತೊರೆದು ಕೃತ ಕೃತ್ಯತೆಯ ಪಡೆವಂತೆ
                                     ------ಡಿ ವಿ ಗುಂಡಪ್ಪ (ಡಿ ವಿ ಜಿ)
ಜೀವ ರಥೋತ್ಸವ
ಜೀವ ರಥೋತ್ಸವವಿದನಣಕಿಸದಿರು ಎಲೆ ಸನ್ಯಾಸಿ
ಸಾರಥಿಯನು ನೋಡಾದರುಬಾ
ತೇರನು ಎಳೆಯುವಾ ಸನ್ಯಾಸಿ

ಓಡುವೆ ಎಲ್ಲಿಗೆ ಸನ್ಯಾಸಿ ?
ಆಗುವೆಯಾ ನೀ ಶೂನ್ಯ ನಿವಾಸಿ ?
ಸಾರಥಿ ಬಲ್ಲನು ಸತ್ಪತವಾ
ಕುಳಿತಿಹನಾತನೆ   ನಡೆಸಲು  ರಥವ
The Story of Kanti and Hampa.(ಕಂತಿ ಮತ್ತು ಹಂಪ )
Among the handful of women Kannada poets referred to by me earlier, was one woman called Kanti whose Story was most interesting. Our Kannada textbook for eighth Standard carried the story of Kanti and Hampa. This pair of male and female poets was part of the court of Hoysala King Veera Ballala at Dwarasamudra (the present day Halebeedu) in the 13th century. Unfortunately there appears to be no record of any of the poems written by Kanti. But the riddles of Kanti—Hampa as described in the story show the poetic skills of Kanti. I have tried my best to recreate the story from my available memory here below:

The original name of Hampa was Nagachandra and he was a renowned poet and teacher in the court of Veera Ballala. Nagachandra was also known as Abhinava Pampa who composed Ramachandra Charitha Purana.

Nagachandra had a good number of students studying in his Gurukula. He found some of his students not coming up to his expected standards. In order to improve their performance Nagachandra prepared a special concoction called Jyotishmathi Taila. He would offer a drop of the Taila daily to the below par students. The Taila was so powerful that the students would show improvement in their performance immediately.

It appears Kanti was a servant maid in the Gurukula set up. Being an intelligent and gifted girl, she used to overhear the teachings of the Guru. She picked up his teachings fairly well and requested him to take her as one of his students. But Nagachandra was unimpressed and had his reservations about her capacity to learn.

Kanti had closely observed the effects of the Jyotishmathi Taila on the students. She was also aware that the Guru was offering only a drop of the Taila to the students to improve their performance. Kanti thought that she should also have a taste of the powerful concoction. The Guru had kept the Taila in a vessel in the Pooja room. One day in the absence of the Guru, she stole the vessel and went out.

Kanti just tasted a drop of the Taila and was about to restore it back at the Pooja room. Suddenly she developed a wonderful idea. She wanted to be the brightest among the students of Nagachandra! She consumed the entire quantity of the Jyotishmathi Taila from the vessel!

The strong concoction led to an extreme burning sensation in the throat and stomach of the innocent girl. So much so she jumped into a deserted well unable to bear it anymore. Fortunately for her the well did not have much water to drown her. And Lo! The Jyotishmathi Taila created its full effect on the girl on the spot. The people who came to rescue her found her composing and singing wonderful poems standing in the well! The news reached Nagachandra. He came running and was surprised by the eloquence with which Kanti was composing the poems one after another!

Needless to say Nagachandra adopted Kanti as his student immediately thereafter. Powered by the Jyotishmathi Taila, Kanti picked up all the nuances of composing the poems from her Guru. So much so she started criticizing and finding faults in the works of her Guru!

A stage was reached when Nagachandra wanted to know whether Kanti really appreciated his poetry or not! One day he spread a rumour that he was dead! On hearing the death of her beloved Guru, Kanti came running. She found her Guru lying on the bed and took it as his dead body. Unable to bear the loss, she started letting out her feelings on his poetry. She composed a poem on the spot about the loss suffered by the community on account of the death of one of the greatest poets! Impressed by her appreciation, the Guru got up from his ‘death bed’ fully satisfied!

Let me come to the riddles given to Kanti by Nagachandra to test her poetic abilities. The challenge was to compose a full stanza to the question/puzzle posed by the Guru, which used to be the last line of the stanza. Interestingly the line would also appear to be quite unrealistic and illogical.

Once Nagachandra posed the following line to Kanti:

ತ್ತವಳೆದ್ದು ತವರೂರಿಗೆ ಪೋಗುತಿರ್ದಳ್! (Dead woman got up and went to parents’ home!)

It appeared as an improbable quote. But Kanti made it probable by completing the stanza as:
ಅತ್ತೆಯ ಕಾಟವು ಅಧಿಕಂ ಮತ್ತಿನ ಸವತಿಯರ ಕಾಟವು
ನಾದಿನಿ  ಬೈವಳು ಪೆತ್ತ ಮಕ್ಕಳ್ ಅಳಲ್ಕೆ
ಬೇಸತ್ತವಳೆದ್ದು ತವಾರೂರಿಗೆ ಪೋಗುತಿರ್ದಳ್
Another posture from Nagachandra:
ಇಲಿಯಂ ಮುರಿಮುರಿದು ತಿನ್ನುತಿರ್ಪರ್ ! (People were eating rats by making them into pieces!)
Kanti completed the stanza as:
ಸರಸಿಜಾಕ್ಷಿಯರ ಹಸ್ತದೊಳ್ ತಿಲ ತೈಲದಿ ಮಾಳ್ಪ
ಚೆಕ್ಕಿಲಿಯಂ  ಮುರಿಮುರಿದು ತಿನ್ನುತಿರ್ಪರ್
Another Posture:
ದನಮಂ ಕಡಿಕಡಿದು ಬಸದಿ ಗೆಳೆಯುತಿರ್ದರ್! (People were killing cows and pulling them into Jain temples!)
Kanti’s Answer:
ಸಚ್ಚಂದನಮಂ (sandal wood) ಕಡಿಕಡಿದು ಬಸದಿ ಗೆಳೆಯುತಿರ್ದರ್
Another Puzzle:
ಇಸಮಂ ಸವಿಸವಿದು ತಿನ್ನುತಿರ್ಪರ್ ! (Eating and enjoying poison!)
Kanti’s Answer:
ಪಾಯಿಸಮಂ  ಸವಿಸವಿದು ತಿನ್ನುತಿರ್ಪರ್
Another Puzzle:
ಗಜಮಂ ಕಟ್ಟಿ ಒಯ್ಯುತಿರ್ದರ್ ! (Carrying a packed elephant!)
Kanti’s Answer:
ಕಾಗಜಮಂ ಕಟ್ಟಿ ಒಯ್ಯುತಿರ್ದರ್

As stated by me earlier, it is very unfortunate that we do not have any records of the poems written by the gifted poetess Kanti. But her story linked to the famous poet Nagachandra (who wrote Ramachandra Charitha Purana) is proof enough to show the poetic skills of the gifted Kanti. The Kanti-Hampa riddles continue to be the inspiration for the budding Kannada poets to this day.
A V Krishnamurthy
14th July 2013