NIAS Talk

Please note that this is a set of 11 videos that covers (most of) the session. If you’d like, you can look through the set and can go straight to the poem(s) you want to listen to.

ಊದಿ ತೂರಿ ಹಾರಿಸು
ಹಾರಿದಷ್ಟು ಹಾರಲಿ
ಹಾರಲೆಂದು ಹುಟ್ಟಿದಾ
ಹಕ್ಕಿ ಮೈಯ ಗರಿಗಳು.

(6ನೆ ನುಡಿ, ‘ಗರಿ’ ಕವನ)

Push them, blow them, make them fly,
Let them fly as much they will,
These feathers that were born to fly,
These feathers on a bird’s body.

(6th stanza of the poem ‘Feather’)

On August 28, 2019, I was given a chance, by the ‘Literary Arts and Heritage Forum’ at NIAS, to present my translations of Bendre’s poetry. Though it wasn’t my first “public presentation” – I had presented a few translations to a small gathering as part of an informal talk I gave in Kannada some seven weeks previously – it was the first “formal” presentation of my work to its intended audience, an audience (mostly) unacquainted not just with Bendre but the Kannada language itself.

Though the audience was smaller in size than I’d reckoned (and hoped for), I am told the presentation went off nicely. Scheduled, as it was, on a weekday afternoon, a number of people who I’d hoped would attend were unable to.

Happily, among those who attended were two very nice, obliging people who between them recorded most of the hour-long session. Thank you very much, Manjunatha and Mr. Varadaraj Madan! I am very grateful.

And as for the one portion neither recorded, it was, as luck would have it, recorded by Sharada aunty, a long-time doctor-teacher-friend and a wonderful ಸಹೃದಯ (sahrudaya), whose encouragement and support I value tremendously and am very grateful for. Thank you very much, Aunty!

I hope all of you who happen to watch these videos enjoy them and I look forward to many of you “push[ing], blow[ing] and mak[ing] fly…these feathers that were born to fly”.

Note: Every translation I presented that day (besides the excerpts) can be found on this website. The brief write-up below each video gives the link.

P.S: I’d love to know what you thought of the video(s). Do write to me at mk.ajjampur@gmail.com. I look forward to hearing from you.