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Three Essays and a Story

 

PREFACE

The contents of these essays and story are based on what I learnt from my father. He was a scholar of Sanskrit, was a partisan scholar in the theological debate between different schools of Vedanta, his, position being that of Dvaita, as he belonged to the Madhva tradition. He was also a musician, was a disciple of Devidas Petiwale of Indore. The sensibilities of these essays and story are of course mine and belong to a different era. My father was a partisan to a specific sampradaya within Vedantic tradition of Hinduism, whereas I am an atheist and irreligious. Politically he was liberal and was close to Fabian Socialism, whereas I belong to the Marxist-Anarchist tradition. About my musical leanings, the less said the better. My father once told me never to try a career in music as, in his opinion, I had no ear for music. He was probably right in spite of current educationists' belief that every child has artistic sensibilities.

My father had a killing sense of satire and he could and often did cut me to pieces and put me in my place whenever my arrogance showed up. He was capable of using choice Kannada and Sanskrit phrases and idioms for this. For example 'Day by day our horse is turning into a donkey’ (Kannada: 'Barta barta nam kudre katte ayatu') or he would look up towards sky and pray to Saraswati, the goddess of learning 'Please, let it not be my fate that I have to present my poems to a person who has no sense of aesthetics' (Sanskrit, Kalidasa: 'Arasikeshu kavitvanivedanam, sirashu ma likh! ma likh! ma likh!). Then there were my friends and comrades who visited him and told him how much they learned from me about appreciating Indian classical music or Hindu religion and its philosophies. During my visits he will tell someone with a wonder in his voice that Viju's friends and comrades told him that they have learnt to appreciate classical music and Hindu religion and its philosophies from Viju!

So this is my affectionate 'revenge' for all those humiliations I suffered.

Vijayendra
Honnali
3. 2. 2011
 

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