Title:Keerthi Kalasha; Writer: N Narayana Ballal; Publisher:Reception Committee, All India 74th Kannada Literary Conference, DR TMA Pai College of Education Campus, Kunjibettu 576102, Udupi; Pages: 92; Price: Rs 40 NARAYANA Ballal is a retired bank official. But writing is his passion. Because of his job in the bank he used to work in different places across the country. This must have helped him in understanding the life across the country in a better way.
Though the writings in the present book are about the outstanding writers in Kannada, the experiences he earned during his stay elsewhere across the country must have given him a new perspective and better understanding of the writers.
The writings in this book are either interviews with or introductions to the well-known writers in Kannada. Ballal has written these pieces over a period of 40 years. They are either interviews written in narrative style or introductions to the writers’ lives and achievements. These writings were earlier published in periodicals and Ballal has compiled them in one book. None of the writers Ballal refers to in this book are alive now.
The writers include Thi Tha Sharma, B Puttaswamaiah, Anandakanda, Dr Raa Shi, Dr Ram Shri Mugali, Krishnamurthy Puranik, VM Inamdar, Chaduranga, M Gopalakrishna Adiga and Tha Raa Su.
The main intention of these articles is to introduce readers to the greatness of the writers who lived in Karnataka, their mission in life, their sacrifice for the state and the country and to make the reader get inspired by the lives and achievements of these great personalities. Ballal has succeeded in achieving his goal.
For instance, not many knew why Thi Tha Sharma was interested in history and archaeology. Ballal reveals that Sharma had started his career as an employee in the Archaeology Department and engaged in doing research on the history of many places in Karnataka. By studying stone inscriptions and other evidences Sharma could understand the history of the state in depth. That had inspired him to fight for the independence of the country and also become a good journalist too, later.
Ballal, in his writing about Krishnamurthy Puranik, explains how a poet Puranik became novelist Puranik. Once, in 1946, Dr Shivarama Karanth and Da Ba Kulakarni went to Gokak to participate in a Kannada programme. After reading poetry written by Puranik they wondered why he had not been writing novels because the people around him might not be able to appreciate poems. Puranik started writing novels. Later, he had 65 novels to his credit. This small book by Ballal is helpful in having glimpses of Kannada writers and their achievements.