The world of Indian literature is like an ocean with an expanse that has no end and pearls hidden in its depths. One of such pearls is the famous Kannada novelist S.L Bhyrappa. Born on 26 July 1934 in Santeshivara village of Hassan district near Bangalore, he is one of the leading philosophers of modern India. His work has been translated in Hindi, and Marathi and in other languages too and is famous not only in India but in the United States as well.
This is not all. There is so much more about this brilliant writer that is not known to the masses. Some of the less known facts about him have been mentioned here.
1) At a time when almost all the other writers were bowing down to the state defined conventional ways of writing in the Nehruvian era S.L Bhyrappa was one of the few who refused to adhere to those guidelines. He continued to write they way he wanted to, and about what he wanted to. This made him controversy’s favourite child. His works were based on sensitive issues like the ancient Indian philosophical tradition.
2) He has been awarded with several honors like the Sahitya Akademi Fellowship in 2015 , and Padma Shri in 2016. He is the only Kannada writer to have received the prestigious Saraswati Samman from the Birla Foundation.
3) Childhood wasn’t the best time of his life and was full of hardships. He lost his mother and brothers to bubonic plague as a child. His father was an ill responsible man so he had to take up odd jobs to support himself financially. He worked as a gatekeeper at the village cinema hall, a railway porter etc. He even had to beg at times.
At the age of thirteen he participate in the Indian freedom struggle.
4) Out of the 24 novels that he has written four have been made into films namely, Matadana, Nayi Neralu, Vamshavruksha, and Tabbaliyu Neenade Magane. He received the Kannada Sahitya Akademi Award in 1966 for Vamshavruksha. In 1975 he received the Kannada and the Kendriya Sahotya Akademi awards for Daatu.
5) S.L Bhyrappa has acquired a spot in the list on best selling Kannada authors for the past 25 years. Also,for the past eight years the translations of his books have been best sellers
His books Daatu and Gruhabhanga have been translated into 14 languages and have been made into television series.
6) Apart from literature, music is another important aspect of his life. He is a devotee of Hindustani Classical Music, which is quite evident in his novel Mandra. This devotion started when he attended an all night concert of GangubaiHanagal during his college years.
7) Bhyrappa was an academic achiever during his college years. He achieved top scores in BA and gold medal in MA. He did his BA honors in philosophy. The reason he chose this field was that he was always haunted by the question of death and wanted find more.
8) His works are a product of a huge amount of research. In fact, before starting a novel he makes sure to visit the place his novel is set in to get a firsthand feel of the place. he absorbs the culture and the people of that place.
Fighting for creative freedom of writers and giving some beautiful pieces of work to the world of literature, S.L Bhyrappa is truly an inspiration to not just writers but to everyone.