Coming to the point straight away, without any of my usual blabbers … Bharathipura is a novel by U.R.Anantamurthy, written in Kannada. I read the English translation. Hmm.. long back, I blogged about one of the Anantamurthy’s books, the first one for me – Bhava. This book perfectly fitted my idea about – “what it would be like?” that I had when I took this book from the library. This is a typical Bhava style book, if I can say it so.

Bharathipura is the tale of a London returned Jagannatha Rao, also called Jaganna –  his ambitions and his thought process. He returns to his home town Bharathipura after a long time. There is a conflict within Jagannatha about his ideals and his practices. Well, I cannot actually articulate about how the book is. It is as intriguing as Bhava was to me. I cannot say it was very good. Yet, I don’t mind reading it again. I cannot say I understood it. Yet, I would campaign for it wholeheartedly. To put such a complicated thought process on a paper is not a mean task. Hence, though I am not very clear about my understanding of the novel, I cannot resist admiring Anantamurthy for the sheer beauty of this very skill.

The whole story centers around Jagannatha’s aim to take untouchables in to the Manjunatha temple. While we wait with bated breath about what happens towards the end – will they enter? won’t they? – it ends in a rather queer way. Though the mission itself succeeds, the result that it intends to achieve is not achieved. That is about the story. However, as I said before, it is Jaganna’s thought process at various points of time in the novel that makes this novel quite interesting. Brilliantly sketched thought process. Extremely complicated for my little, innocent brain 🙂

But, even after all this, there is something in it, which makes me campaign for it. 🙂 There is something very much undecipherable, yet, decipherable … There is something …which is vague… yet, everything is clear. Well, that is Anantamurthy’s Bharathipura… That is the way he writes, perhaps…..  It can be read for the sheer thrill of attempting to understand the thought process…..

Published in: on April 25, 2007 at 2:16 pm  Comments (4)  

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  1. Well, I have not read Bharathipura yet. But it was one of the books whic I always wanted to read. I think you will definitely like his other novel ‘ Samskaara’ which was a trend setter. I thought the concept of Samskaara was very interesting. Give it a try.

  2. Dear Sowmya:
    Thanks for the insightful book review. I am very interested in getting an English translation of Anantanmurthy’s “Bharathipura,” done by an old friend of mine, P. Srinivasa Rao. If you have any info on how I might procure this novel, please let me know. Anantamurthy is a great writer; I had the honor of meeting him with Sri some years back here in Philadelphia. Thank you for all of your help here. Sincerely, -M. Toner

  3. @Michael Toner: I read it from my college’s library back then. Its available on Amazon I think:

  4. […] అయితే, ఆ పేరు వినగానే నాకు పరిచయం ఉన్నట్లు అనిపించింది. ఈ నవల ఆంగ్లానువాదం ఇదివరలో నేను చదివినట్లున్నా కదా..అనుకుంటూ ఉండగా, కథాంశం లీలగా గుర్తొచ్చింది. వెంటనే, అప్పట్లో బ్లాగులో రాసే ఉంటాననుకుని సర్చ్ చేస్తే, లంకె దొరికింది. (ఇదిగో!). […]

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