Oy BhAratiyArE!--A Child's Eye View of the Poet

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Re: Oy BhAratiyArE!--A Child's Eye View of the Poet

#326  Postby cmlover » 27 Apr 2012 05:00

We are entering the Time Capsule...
It will be difficult to remember names and the relations. For reference you may draw the Family Tree which we can refer from timeto time. The two Yadugiri names can be confusing. Refer to the little one as Jr. Is Ranganayaki still around?
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Re: Oy BhAratiyArE!--A Child's Eye View of the Poet

#327  Postby rshankar » 27 Apr 2012 06:23

Arasi...nice introduction...let me go out on a limb and guess that the yadugiri who wrote about the mahAkavi is the maternal grandmother of the yadugiri you met...only thing that makes sense if Smt. Ranganayaki is her mother-in-law....yadugiri junior would have married her oNNu viTTa mAmA.
By the way, I can make a family tree if you want, and upload it as a document...
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Re: Oy BhAratiyArE!--A Child's Eye View of the Poet

#328  Postby arasi » 27 Apr 2012 06:34

Thanks, Ravi, you are kind!
I just came to the computer wondering how I was going to type the family tree out in a proper manner! I will send what Yadugiri Junior ;) wrote down. You are good at understanding relationships! Yes, Our Yadugiri is periya pATTi and also her periya mAmiyAr!

CML,
No, Ranganayaki is no more.

Now, the translation of one of her little plays (skits), and before that, the intros to her book, published in 1981:
Here is the intro of her father Sri. Sri Acharya (let's call the periyavar from ManDyam by that one name to avoid confusion!)

When we lived our lives in the proximity of BhArathi in PuduchEri, we used to say: just as in a play where the curtain rises and a new dramatic scene appears--when the screen of darkness went down and the Sun came upon the horizon, every day to us was as if a drama unfolded in front of us.
My daughter Ranganayaki has written about what transpired in those days at home. Though the settings in these scenes are left to the imagination of the readers, the men and women (and children?) who appear here are all real individuals. The words were what came out of their mouths. But for a few instances where the placement of what was said might not be exact, all that you read about here were uttered by those who appear in the book. They are not figments of my daughter's imagination.

Ranganayaki's preface:

What I have written about are incidents which happened when we lived near my father's close friend BhArathiyAr in Puducheri.
SrimAn BharathiyAr was not like any other poet who sat down with a paper and pen to create his poems. While conversing with others, as if he were speaking, dependent on what the conversation was about, he would sing his verses out. After running them by my father, he would then go home, sit down and pen them.
In my simple words, I've tried to write about such a mahA kavi. This little work which comes with the introductions by my father and Sri. rA.a.Padmanabhan, I do hope conveys to the world what all hardships BhArathiyAr, his family and friends had to go through for the love of their country.

I dedicate this book to the loving memory of my older sister Yadugiri who was more dear to BhArathiyAr than I was.


rA.a. Padmanabhan's Intro:

When Bharathi was in Puduvai (1908-1918), A. G. Ranganayaki who was a child then, knew him as a family friend. She's the second daughter of the owner of India Weekly--SrirangapaTNam Srinivasacharyar (MaNDyam Srinivasachari), and younger sister of Yadugiri Ammal who wrote BhArathi ninaivugaL. Ranganayaki lives in Bangalore.

Srinivasachayrar's family, for generations has been known for its social work and patriotism. His father, S.T. Krishnamacharya had at one time lived in Puduchery. In the 1890-s, he ran a journal called The Indian Republic, both in English and French.
Srinivasachari and his two brothers, in the beginning of this century (20th) had a business selling printing presses in Chennai. Their cousin Tirumalachariar ran a printing press called India Printing Works. He was the one who started India in 1906 and appointed Bharathi as its editor.
(Then, he gives us details of the events which we already know--of how the svadEsis went to Puduvai one after the other)...

Bharathi, Srinivasacchariar and Iyer lived on Easwaran Dharma Raja Koil Street. Away from home in Puduvai, they all lived like one family. Yadugiri, Ranganayaki, Thangamma and Shakunthala, Iyer's daughter Subhadra and son Krishnamurthy were more or less of the same age. They were playmates, growing up in the shadow of their elders who were active in their roles as svadEsis. As a result, they are true witnesses to the lives of Bharathi andV.V.S.Iyer.
After Thangamma, Sakunthala and Yadugiri's memoirs about Bharathi, Ranganayaki has written her memoir in the dramatic form. It is true to life, not an enactment of imagined scenes. This book is good not only for reading, but for being presented on stage. These scenes are worthy of being performed in schools for the benefit of children. Hope the public welcomes these patriotic plays and makes the author happy that her message comes through.
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Re: Oy BhAratiyArE!--A Child's Eye View of the Poet

#329  Postby arasi » 27 Apr 2012 21:54

Here's the first skit in the book that A. G. Ranganayaki wrote:



OM

vandE mAtharam

BHARATHI ILLARA NADAGAM

1: jAdi madangaLaip pArOm
________________________

(Place: Bharathi's house. Bharathi, Ranga (Ranganayaki), Andal (her older sister), Chellamma, Shakunthala, Appasami (CID) and another policeman).

Bharathy returns home after a walk, followed by Appasami, the CID policeman. Ranga, Andal, Shakunthala and other children are enacting a wedding with their dolls (bommaik kalyANam). Chellamma is watching it. The policeman stops at the door. Bharathi comes in.

Chellamma: (looking at Appasami) Why is he following you like a shadow--as if you are a prisoner?

Bharathi: Why should it bother us when we have nothing to hide? We haven't stolen anything. We are not alone in this and we don't have to be ashamed. He's a good man.The government pays his wages and he's doing his duty.What's wrong about that?

Chellamma: Well, I don't know what to say. Parvatham (maid) hasn't come today to bring in the water. I've to go to the well to draw water...

Bharathi: (tenderly) Chellamma, why should you exert yourself? There he is, at the door, not having anything to do. I will ask him to bring in the water. You feed him and he would obey your commands readily. He does not get a decent meal, tailing me all the time. Poor man!
(goes out) Appasami, Amma needs the aNDA (water storer) to be filled. Go draw water from the well!

Appasami (with due reverence): Yes AiyyA! (comes in and picks up the kuDam--pot).

Chellamma: You don't even know which caste he belongs to, and without asking, you let him come into the house to draw water?

Bharathi: Listen to me! Why should it matter? I'm going to sit down with him and eat, if you want to know! Have you any grilled appaLam? When they came to check the house (the police), that IyengAr ate all the appaLams!I can eat them at least today!

Chellamma: What farce is this? Won't Ranga and Andal laugh at us? You know that even we aren't allowed in their kitchen! I joked with their mother one day: may be it's easier to see paramAtmA himself, but not the inside of your kitchen! She will smile but I haven't been let in once!

Bharathi: It's just part of their tradition. As for Appasami, just as jamindArs have guards working for them, we have someone to help us, who is here even without our asking. If you are an official in the government, you get two men to serve you at the office and two at home. Why can't we make use of Appasamy's availability?

Chellamma: What you say is only acceptable to you! You could have at least asked which caste he belongs to!

Bharathi: (sings) vendE mAtharam enbOm, engaL mAnilath thAyai vaNangudum enbOm
jAdi madangaLaip pArOm--uyar janmamid dEsathil eidinarAyin--
vEdiyarAyinum onRE, anRi vERu kulathavar Ayinum onRE!
Inap paRaiyargaLenum.....

Chellamma: Siva siva! This is unbearable to hear! What if my mother were here!

Bharathi: Chellamma, if there is more house work, ask him to do it. Appasami! Sweep the floor and get it all clean. We both can eat afterwards.

(Appasami finishes sweeping).

Chellamma: (taking some coins from her maDi (the waist band of the sari also worked as a coin purse!) Here! Go to the shop and get some betel leaves, betel nuts and bananas!

Appasami: Yes, Amma! (exits)

Shakunthala and Ranga: We want to go too!

Chellamma: You both go, but let Andal stay here with me.

(The girls follow Appasami)

Shakunthala: Appasami, where all did you go with AppA today?

Appasami: I went with your father to Kosavarpalayam (Potters village). We looked at their making terracotta images. By then, it started to get dark. That place is so far away, little one!

Shakunthala: Will you take us there one day?

Appasami: How can I, ammA? I happen to be a slave to the government!

(Another CID nears)

CID: Where are you going with these children?

Appasami: Going to the veTRilai (pAn) shop. Haven't chewed veTRilai in three days! Brought them along for an outing.

CID: What are their fathers doing now? Are they home, or are they out?

Appasami: I am guarding this pApA's house. Her father roams around singing Sakthi. Sakthi and I can't get evidence of any mischief there. He's at home now.

CID: Are they gathered at the house where Nateasan and Chinnan are posted?

Appasami: The AiyyA at my house goes there every day. They spend time talking and singing merrily. Quote from tEvAram or sit down to write verses! They don't realize how time flies in all this!There's no talk about our government when they go on this way!

CID: When there was a raid, did you all look keenly for any clues?

Appasami: Nothing at my place. Wherever you look, there are books.The same with the house which Chinnan guards. A dark room with a five tiered shelf filled with heavy books! He said he felt bad about going in there, fell down prostrating before the books--and saluting the aiyyAs, left the place! When they went to the house that Natesan is guarding, I heard that they found two weapons in the well. Who knows if it's true or not?

Shakunthala: Shall we keep going? It's getting late.

Ranga: Yes, I've to go back home soon. My mother is alone in the house.

(They return to Bharathi's house. Appasami gives Chellamma what he got from the shop).

Bharathi: Chellamma, what's this purchase all about?

Chellamma: Our Papa celebrated a dolls wedding. She needed to offer the bride's party veTRilai pAkku.That's why.

Shakunthala: AppA! Ranga wants to take her daughter (the doll) with her to her house, but I said that she should stay here. She's not keen on that. You convince her AppA!

Bharathi: You are the bridegroom's party, then! Let the bride go and stay with thangak kiLi for a while. Women do have freedom. Just because they are married, it doesn't mean that they have to stay with their husband's family all the time. They can come home happily after a visit. Indian women need equality with men for India to be a better country! (sings) paTTangaL ALvadum , saTTangaL seivadum pArinil peNgaL naDatha vandOm!

(Shakunthala hands over the doll to Ranga who's happy).

Ranga: (Looking gratefully at bharathi): Look! Papa has given the doll to me to take home with me!

Bharathi: (looking at Shakunthala papa): When a marriage is celebrated,there is happiness all around. Look how very happy Ranga is! Ranga and Andal, why don't you eat with us?

Andal: We have to go home. Amma will be alone in the house because Appa will be away at Aravinda Ghosh's house. We will stay another day.

(Shakunthala gives them both veTRilai pAkku and the girls go home, escorted by Appasami).

* * *
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Re: Oy BhAratiyArE!--A Child's Eye View of the Poet

#330  Postby cmlover » 27 Apr 2012 22:04

Nice intro to
BhArathiyAr illaRa nADagam
Just refresh for me
rA.a. Padmanabhan. Have we met him before?

Good start!
Confused about Annasami/Appasami.
Is it a typo or a true translation?
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Re: Oy BhAratiyArE!--A Child's Eye View of the Poet

#331  Postby arasi » 27 Apr 2012 22:25

Padmanabhan, the publisher of Yadugiri's bhArathi ninaivugaL.

Typo corrected.
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Re: Oy BhAratiyArE!--A Child's Eye View of the Poet

#332  Postby Ponbhairavi » 28 Apr 2012 11:16

Makes nice reading. I trust that this time I will find time to read the serials.
In a Appasami's dialogue it is noted as terracotta dolls. I thinkit may be better to translate as CLAY dolls. Terra cotta is a refined material and the technique of doll making with this is different and relatively new (about 20 years only). I am not nitpicking but we should avoid anachronism
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Re: Oy BhAratiyArE!--A Child's Eye View of the Poet

#333  Postby smala » 28 Apr 2012 13:03

rshankar wrote:...let me go out on a limb and guess that the yadugiri who wrote about the mahAkavi is the maternal grandmother of the yadugiri you met...


rshankar, our Yadu is the maternal *great*grandmother of the yadugiri Arasi met. She is as arasi points, out also her *great* m-i-l.


only thing that makes sense if Smt. Ranganayaki is her mother-in-law....yadugiri junior would have married her oNNu viTTa mAmA.
...


Ranganayaki is her maternal paati/grandmother as well as m-i-l - so you are right that yadugiri married her mother's brother (son of Ranganayaki) - who is the mAma/uncle. But can't follow the "oNNu Vitta?"

This is familiar to me. This was not unheard of those days. My own mother married her mAma, her mother's brother, so my mother's maternal paatti was her m-i-l as well.
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Re: Oy BhAratiyArE!--A Child's Eye View of the Poet

#334  Postby arasi » 28 Apr 2012 18:14

Mala,
When Ravi draws up the family tree, we can (and need to!) refer to it again and again because the names repeat themselves in every generation, on top of it. That's why Yadugiri junior is happy and proud to be the only other Yadugiri in the family!
You are good at figuring relationships out.

Ponbhairavi,
Thanks for pointing out the terra cotta (baked earth?) bit. I wasn't sure how to translate the word 'bommai'. My guess is they were kolu bommais, big ones--RAma PaTTAbhishEkam, Krishna with butter in his hand and big figurines which were in demand and were sold before navarAtri. I remember seeing a whole array of them in front of the Parthasarathy temple.
Another skit makes me think that they were kolu bommais. Clay figurines, yes--and painted over.
The word bommai is the culprit here. Also, the children are enacting a bommaik kalyANam where the 'dolls' were probably marappAchi bommais, wooden ones!

Yes, please go back and read at least a few chapters from Yadugiri's book. If you want the original in tamizh, and others too, Rajesh has many copies of them.
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Re: Oy BhAratiyArE!--A Child's Eye View of the Poet

#335  Postby arasi » 28 Apr 2012 18:50

About these skits by Ranganayaki: I find them charming. There is no need to compare this book with Yadugiri's. These are just ideal to be enacted by school children--simple in structure and yet with a message and verses from the poet. Play acting is an exciting thing for a child. As RA. a. Padmanabhan mentions in his intro, these skits are good tools to introduce Bharathi and his poetry to school children (in primary and middle schools?).
What's interesting to see is that reading, writing and printing presses, are handed down from generation to generation in this family! Did not know until I read his intro that Sri Sri Acharya's father also ran a journal in English and French!
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Re: Oy BhAratiyArE!--A Child's Eye View of the Poet

#336  Postby nri » 28 Apr 2012 22:48

Am following these posts religiously. One of the very interesting threads of this forum - if not the best among non-carnatic. :)

oNNu vitta business is like this:

Your mother's own brother is your direct mama. Your mother's cousin brother (what we call these days univocally) - ie., her chithi /chithappa or periamma / periappa's son is her oNNu vitta annA or thambi. By that virtue, he becomes your oNNu vitta mAmA.
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Re: Oy BhAratiyArE!--A Child's Eye View of the Poet

#337  Postby arasi » 01 May 2012 05:09

nri,
Thanks for the encouragement. Will try to post whenever I can. We have to keep our love for Bharathi alive--in every possible way...
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Re: Oy BhAratiyArE!--A Child's Eye View of the Poet

#338  Postby smala » 02 May 2012 20:27

Arasi, do you have the names in order of birth of


--Yadugiri's eight offspring
(Dwaraki Krishnaswami is one daughter)
(Yadugiri Jr is one grandaughter?)

--Ranganayaki's offspring
(we know Yadugiri Jr's husband (name?) is her son)

--Parthasarathy's (Valimai Maindan) offspring
(Srinivasan and Narayanan)


Wish Dwaraki was active on this thread on Rasikas to answer this.
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Re: Oy BhAratiyArE!--A Child's Eye View of the Poet

#339  Postby arasi » 02 May 2012 21:13

smala,
valimai maindan IS parthasarathy--Yadugiri and Ranganayaki's youngest brother who is 95! The repetitions of names in every generation, and their sometimes marrying within the family makes it difficult for us to figure out who's who.
I have sent the family tree (that Yadugiri junior wrote out for me) to Ravi who kindly offered to help in posting on this thread. You have your homework cut out, once it's up!
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Re: Oy BhAratiyArE!--A Child's Eye View of the Poet

#340  Postby smala » 02 May 2012 21:22

Yes, Arasi I do know Valimai Maindan is Parthasarathy, I merely stated his alternate name in parenthesis - was asking about his
offspring.

I think I mistook something earlier when I said "... our Yadu is the maternal *great*grandmother of the yadugiri Arasi met. She is as arasi points, out also her *great* m-i-l.

Yadugiri Sr is Yadugiri Jr's Periya Paati as her Paati's (Ranganayaki's) sister. I think I'm on track though re. Yadugiri Jr marrying her own mAmA - not Onnu Vitta...
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Re: Oy BhAratiyArE!--A Child's Eye View of the Poet

#341  Postby arasi » 02 May 2012 21:30

He has two sons--Srinivasan (understandable--his grandfather's name) and Narayanan.
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Re: Oy BhAratiyArE!--A Child's Eye View of the Poet

#342  Postby rshankar » 03 May 2012 00:30

Smala - I am working on the family tree (looks more like a family forrest, if you ask me!), but just to be clear, Ranganayaki (aka tanga kiLi) is Yadugiri Sr.'s sister, and the mother of Yadugiri Jr.'s husband. Yadugiri Sr. is Yadugiri Jr.'s pATTi (and not periya pATTi). Yadugiri Sr. is Yadugiri Jr.'s husband's periammA...
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Re: Oy BhAratiyArE!--A Child's Eye View of the Poet

#343  Postby smala » 03 May 2012 01:22

Yes, thanks rshankar, awaiting the family tree, I did get it right that Yadugiri Jr married Ranganayaki's son!

Gosh, I just re-read what Arasi wrote!!! So it seems Yadugiri Jr is Yadugiri Sr's grandchild, who married the son of Ranganayaki, so I guess that makes him the Onnu Vitta maama - while Ranganayaki to Yadugiri Jr. is her chitthi-paati, if there's such a term!

...."A sheaf of papers in Yadugiri's writing of the rough copy of her book...
How did she get them? Now, hold your breath and be ready for the complexities of repeated names and marriages within the family! Not only was Ranganayaki her pATTi Yadugiri's sister, she was also her mother-in-law. Thanks to Yadugiri, she gave us the family tree, but I'm still trying to learn from it!
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Re: Oy BhAratiyArE!--A Child's Eye View of the Poet

#344  Postby smala » 03 May 2012 01:53

So, in all this within kin marriages, what is the acceptable morai?

Is it correct to say one can :

-marry mother's siblings (male only)- i.e mama?
-marry from offsprings of mother's siblings (i.e. maama's kids, chithi's kids, periamma's kids) ?
-marry only father's sisters kids (male or female - athai's kids) ?


The "logic" being father's side males and their offspring are taboo for within kin marriage?
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Re: Oy BhAratiyArE!--A Child's Eye View of the Poet

#345  Postby arasi » 03 May 2012 05:46

Mala,
'uRavukkuLLE thirumaNams' (marrying within the family) at that time was on the wane, but not quite. Some communities adhered to them longer, that's all. Thank goodness, such traditions are almost non-existent now.
Giving favorite God's names is another thing. So, the confusion multiplies when we look at such a family tree.

Yadugiri junior was the chief communicator/coordinator and was very helpful. Dwaraki herself said that she was a good contact person for me to get to know the family--which I found out to be true. You will soon see them in a few photographs. You will also listen to them in the audio I have--with a little help from my friends on the technical side...

As CML suggested, I will do the postings little at a time, taking it easy.
I would like to post a few very interesting passages from the centenary edition of Chitra Bharathi. More of Ranganayaki's sweet little plays, if you folks wish...
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Re: Oy BhAratiyArE!--A Child's Eye View of the Poet

#346  Postby arasi » 04 May 2012 03:44

CHITHRA BHARATHI



Image
The book CHITHRA BHARATHI was first published in 1957 to commemorate Bharathi--he would have been 76 then, had he lived. It was brought out again for Bharathi's centenary with many additions, thanks to rA.a.Padmanabhan's tireless work in gathering more material about Bharathi. Here are some excerpts from the book:

This is what Sri.Sri. Acharya wrote in his introduction to the first edition in 1957:

Bharathi joined our India Journal soon after it was started. I had known his skills in writing by reading his article in English, written for BAla BhAratha. Our friendship burgeoned from the day I met him. We used to call him Bharathi then. Now, when the vara kavi is lauded for his epic poems and other creations, when he is celebrated as kavi chakravarthi, the immortal poet, I am awestruck that it is our friend Bharathi--our companion with child-like qualities who made us feel as if he was part of our family.

Though we had been friends in Chennai, it was only after we both went to live in Puducheri that we became intimate friends.
In our little band of friends (the svadESis), he was king. We would play chess, cards and other games.Though it was V.V.S. Iyer who won most of the time, if Bharathi weren't around, the games were lackluster because we were not keen on winning, but thrived on stimulating conversation.

At sunset on the beach, we loved listening to his clarion voice when something magical happened. Not just us--the entire surroundings seemed as if everything came to a stop with his majestic singing.

From his childhood, Bharathi was aware that thamizh lived in him (thamizh aNangu tham nAvilE ulavuvadu).
But his father was intent upon his son getting an English education, for him to get proficient in English and Mathematics so that he could secure a good job in the government, and Bharathi resented it. He has ridiculed this by saying: it was like trying to feed the lion cub mere grass!
His father's insistence resulted in Bharathi's disliking English education. This he expressed strongly in his writings.

We should not come to the conclusion that Bharathi was not well-versed in English or that he looked down upon anything written in English.Not at all. He admired the literature and thought he came to know by reading in English. He felt that English should not occupy the place of our national languages in educating children.

In the few years that Bharathi lived in VaranAsi, he fell in love with works by romantic poets like Shelley, Keats,Wordsworth and others, and adored their love for Nature. He compared their works with those in tamizh and moaned that such jewels in our language were languishing in obscurity. It saddened him. 'As ignorant as beasts, we shamelessly call ourselves thamizh people!' (pAmararAi, vilangugaLAi, nAmamadu thamizharena). More than quarter of a century has gone by since Bharathiyar's demise. We attained freedom ten years ago. We are still in the same pathetic state. I dread to imagine how very brokenhearted he would have been to see this sorry state, had he been alive.
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Re: Oy BhAratiyArE!--A Child's Eye View of the Poet

#347  Postby arasi » 04 May 2012 05:02

EXCERPTS AND PICTURES FROM CHITHRA BHARATHI



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Standing in front of the house is Bharathi's maternal uncle and playmate Sambasiva Iyer.

Subramanian (pet name Subbiah) did not have a horoscope because the details of the exact time of his birth were not noted down, it was believed. However, here's one with the caption which explains it.




ETTAYAPURAM

In the latter part of the 19th Century, Ettayapuram jamIn was flourishing in the arts. Though it had scant interest in politics and for the freedom of India, there was great regard and love for thamizh in the jamIn at that time. The JamIndAr and his uncle Venkatesura Ettappan were equally zealous about the language and wanted Ettayapuram to be next only to Madurai in promoting thamizh.
Their patronage drew thamizh poets, scholars and gems among musicians to Ettayapuram.

KounDanUr (aka kouNDapuram) was where it all happened. While outsiders knew them as jamindars, to the locals, Ramasami Kounder was maharaja! In Bharathis' autobiographical work Chinna Sankaran kadai, the life at KounDanUr, the raja's coterie of poets and scholars, the appearance of chinna Sankaran (himself) among them, their jealousies and intrigues are described. He also relates the corrupt ways of the jamIn: commanding food to be supplied by every household, cock fights, appreciating erotic works like kULappa NAickan kAdal, taking whimsical decisions on matters concerning people who lived there, were all part of it.

Nevertheless, in the palace, from dawn to ten at night, thamizh, telugu and sanskrit scholars and musicians were engaged in discourses and fierce discussions--and in keeping their arts alive.
Knowing that it was a center for scholars, Chinnasami (sundararaja) Iyer--Bharathi's father who was from SevalapaTTi, decided to settle there. He was well-versed in English, though he was not a college graduate. He was an expert in Mathematics, Logic and Modern Mechanics. He had the ability to take apart any machine and put it together in no time and make it work. To such a man, Ettayapuram jamIndAr offered a prime spot in the jamIn.
Around 1880, Chinnasami Iyer was able to establish a cotton mill there!



CHITHRA BHANU, KARTHIKAI, MULAM

In the year Chithra BhAnu, on the 27th in the month of kArthikai, in mUla nakshathrA, a male child was born to Chinnasami and Lakshmi. It was on the 11th of December in 1882.
Subbiah spent most of his infancy in his maternal grandfather Ramasami Iyer's house and was barely seen in his own house. He was adored by his aunts and was admired by all for his charm and gift of the gab. When he lost his mother at five, they loved him even more. Subbiah was surrounded by affection and attention.
Yet, even as a youth, he was known to be emotionally stirred when someone called out 'ammA'. Was it why he chose parAsakthi to be his most favored form of worship?
When his father remarried, Subbiah was lucky that Valliammal looked after him with loving care. He felt more free with her, asking for favors from her rather than from his father.

Sambasivam, his maternal uncle and close companion in his childhood days, recalls this scary incident:
Subbiah and I used to frequent the cotton mill on our wanderings. His father was very happy about this because he hoped that it would encourage his son to study mechanics by being around machines.
One evening, when the mill was closed, we jumped over the compound wall and went in. My brother-in-law's desk was unlocked. We rummaged it to see if we could find any change in it and came upon a shiny tube. I was fiddling with this new found thing and pressed the lever. It made clicks. Then, bang, what I later came to know as a revolver exploded, and a bullet flew out of it, missing Subbiah's head by a hair breadth!

When his father hoped for higher education and a good station in life for his son, Subbiah struggled with the idea and with his father's being particularly strict about studies and home work. He reveled in day dreaming and in making up verses. He loved to be surrounded by Nature. As a result, he often forgot to take his books and slate and pencils to school, and when the teacher punished him by asking him to stand up all through the lessons, he did so happily, making up verses which rhymed with the scoldings of the teacher!
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Last edited by arasi on 06 May 2012 03:49, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Oy BhAratiyArE!--A Child's Eye View of the Poet

#348  Postby arasi » 05 May 2012 08:52

SIVALAPERI AND KADAYAM

SIvalapEri is Bharathi's native village. His father Chinnasami (given name: Sundararajan) was born to kaDuvAi Subbaiyar and Bhageerathi Ammal. Chinnasami married his maternal uncle's daughter Lakshmi from Ettayapuram. She gave birth to Subramanian, the emperor among poets, our Bharathi. There was also another child, Bhageerathi, a daughter, who died in her infancy.

Lakshmi died when Bharathi was five.
She had two brothers. Sambasivan (older to Bharathi by three years) was his close companion.

Chinnasami remarried Valliammal. She had two children and the first child, Viswanatha Iyer is still alive. He is a retired headmaster and lives in Manamadurai.

Farther away to its west in Tirunelveli district, due south of Tenkasi is a little village called Kadayam. A beauty spot, it has the same climate and it also gets the special sAral rain, which Kutralam is known for. Chellamma, the third daughter of Chellappa Iyer and Meenambal, was one among seven children.
Bharathi has described the beauty of this village in his essay SAral.

Bharathi's brother-in-law Appadurai was close to him. He worked for the postal department but was dismissed for his national fervor. After losing his job, he worked as an assistant to the jamindar of Andippatti.
He was the one who brought Bharathi to Kadayam from Puducheri.
He was large-hearted enough to say to Bharathi that he was free to take part in the national movement and was willing to take care of Chellamma and his nieces.

After Bharathi's death, he joined his sister Chellamma in bringing out some works of Bharathi (Bharathi Ashram publications), but they had to discontinue this because the books would not sell.
Appadurai died in 1940.
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arasi
 
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Re: Oy BhAratiyArE!--A Child's Eye View of the Poet

#349  Postby arasi » 05 May 2012 09:21

Thanks to VK and K for helping me in putting up the pictures ;)


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A little detour from Tirunelveli District to the dramatic incident in Tamizh NADu's capitol...
Pages in Yadugiri's handwriting from her notebook--a draft of her work "Bharathi Ninaivugal".
Thanks to Yadugiri Gopinath--her grand daughter for sharing this with us. The notebook was given by the author to her sister Ranganayaki (whose son young Yadugiri married).
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Re: Oy BhAratiyArE!--A Child's Eye View of the Poet

#350  Postby arasi » 06 May 2012 00:55

Note the expression 'adu vELaikku' in the last sentence. Yadugiri had been living in Karnataka for a long time, away from tamizh nADu, speaking kannaDa and the thamizh which Mandayam families spoke. Wonder how she wrote it in the final copy. I don't have the book here with me. adu vELaikku=appozhudu, anda nErathil.
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