Reception and Praise

Praise from writers, translators, and academics:

“I went through several of your Bendre translations … and my immediate feeling was that Bendre’s poetry has finally found the English translator it deserves … I must also add that your … [afterwords] to the poems are not only helpful but delightful too.”

K V Tirumalesh
Sahitya Akademi Award-winning poet


“Thanks for letting me see these Bendre translations. I enjoyed reading them. Your translation style is agile and fluent, rendering the poetry intelligible [and] pleasurable even in English.”

Tejaswini Niranjana
DSC Prize and National Translation Award-winning translator

“My young friend, Madhava, is a rare blend of passion, commitment, and linguistic and artistic ability. Kannada in general and D R Bendre, our great poet-seer, have found a translator of genuine merit in him. Over the years, I have watched him focus on Bendre’s poetry with joy and understanding. He has succeeded in finding poetic parallels in English to Bendre’s utterances. He has not indulged in mechanical verbatim translation. His choice of poems for translation is not unrealistically ambitious. I hope that he will include a broader spectrum of Kannada poets in his future endeavours.”

H S Raghavendra Rao
Sahitya Akademi Award-winning Kannada critic

“I love the way you play with the English language. … your translations [impress] for their attentiveness to the way sound matters in meaning and for their attunement to contemporary English use.”

Adriana Estill
Professor of English and Director of American Studies, Carleton College

“Absolutely brilliant translation! And an unbelievable feat because, even after your success, Bendre remains an untranslatable poet!” (Referring to the translation titled “Jogi“)

Ashwin Kumar
Senior Fellow, Ahmedabad Unversity


Praise from “regular” rasikas:

“‘Untranslatability’ does not seem to exist in Madhav’s vocabulary! ”

 – Kala Sunder

“Madhav state[d] that it [was] destiny that made him translate Bendre. It seems to me that [Bendre’s] ‘Ambikatanaya’ personality spilt into Madhav like a mind to mind migration. Quite incredible.”

– Unnikrishnan E

“I don’t like to read translations. The end product is [usually] insipid … divested of the principal rasa … but your attempt is successful and … manages to keep the reader involved till the end. Thank you for bringing [Bendre] again [to] us.”

– Usha Bhende

“This [translated] poem is a masterpiece worthy of the highest praise.” (Referring to the translation titled “The Descent of the Ganga“)

 – Vyass R

“Just beautiful … I myself wanted to translate [it] after I fell in love with it … but looking at [your translation] I guess there can be no match … you have done a great job.” (Referring to the translation titled “The Seasons’ Song“)

– Priya

“[To] get that feeling when we read a translated poem [is] more difficult when we know the actual poem but this case is different … this attempt is so amazing … justice is conveyed to the actual poem … keep writing and inspiring!” (Referring to the translation titled “Don’t Look At Me This Way“)

– Amith R M

“Had a delightful time listening to Madhav Ajjampur sing and chant his way through some spectacular Bendre poetry.” (Referring to the session I did for ‘Mother Tongue Twisters‘)

– Daniel Lessin

“Really amazing translations. You [have been] able to get [across] the philosophy of the great poet.”

– Suma Ramesh

“A secret joy of mine is opening up to my weekly [social media] update, from my dear old college friend Madhav Ajjampur and his writings, poems and translations. I encourage all to listen to the beauty of his spoken words, and the depths of his English translations [or] avatara-s of the remarkable Kannada poetry of Da Ra Bendre.”  

– Jennifer Muskrat

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