BENGALURU: llustrator Upamanyu Bhattacharyya, who created Kuvempu’s Google doodle, in an exclusive interview with City Express, talks about Kuvempu and how he came up with the doodle.
“In November, Google approached me and asked to best represent Kuvempu’s scope of thought and philosophy in my illustration, while retaining a sense of magic and wonder. So I started working on it accordingly. Till then I had only heard about him but hadn’t read any of his works,” Upamanyu says.
“After getting the opportunity, I went through some of his works, translated, of course. Because time was limited (a few weeks) I managed to read a variety of biographic essays and English translations of some of his poetry. Through his work, I felt his love for Nature and his desire that we live as one with it. Hence I decide that including all that would be the best idea to illustrate. That’s how I came up with the doodle,” Upamanyu adds.
Upamanyu says he was aware of Kavishaila- Kuvempu’s birthplace — which can also be seen in the doodle. The doodle is also inspired from the poet’s song Poovu or the flower, which rhapsodises on the beauty of the poet’s natural surroundings.
Swati Shelar, a Bengaluru-based student, who is currently in California assisted Upamanyu to merge the Kannada script with the English letters of the word
“Google”. Speaking to City Express, Swathi says, “I was aware of Kuvempu and his works. I saw this as a wonderful opportunity and agreed to assist him.”
Upamanyu is a Kolkata-based illustrator and animator. He graduated from National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, and is presently in California, US.
In the doodle, Kuvempu is seen sitting on a rock with a pen in hand and in the background, one can see the Tunga River, Nayi-Gutti – two iconic characters in Kuvempu’s works, Malnad landscape, Kuvempu’s house and Drongo bird - often used in his poems and Kavishaila.