When the rich culture, heritage and language of Karnataka was featured at the 7th AKKA World Kannada Conference in Atlanta, USA, by the Nrupathunga Kannada Koota, Bangalore-based advocate, athlete, social worker and poet, B J G Sathya Shree was elated.
And she had her reasons to be. Not only was she in the elite company of people like Jnanapeetha award winner Dr Chandrashekara Kambara, chairperson of Infosys foundation, Sudha Murthy, ambassador of India to the United States Nirupama Rao, veteran actor Mukhyamantri Chandru, dancer Suparna Venkatesh, singer Raghu Dixit, Archana Udupa, limerick poet H Dundiraj, theatre exponent Srinivas G Kappana and many more renowned Kannadigas from different walks of life, but she was also the first woman advocate who was invited to the convention to represent the state.
For 40-year-old Sathyashree, who hails from Baginagere of Magadi Taluk, this is a dream come true though this is not her first time on a international platform. She has also won multiple medals including a gold in 100 meter hurdles in the International Open Championship which was held in Malaysia in 2008.
She proudly declares, “Kambara Sir liked my work a lot. It was a proud moment. When you get a compliment from someone like him, it is a different feeling altogether. My poem was a satirical take on the prevailing political scenario in Karnataka.” Dr Kambara felt that her poem was well written and portrayed reality and corruption very well.
She feels that the Kannadigas in the US are deeply rooted to their culture and land, more than the ones here. “Kambara, in his address said that in America, there is scope for dream but not for memories. In such a country, Kannada Americans have made all efforts to spread the fragrance of Kannada. This conference should not become a fair alone, but should enrich our Kannada language,” she added. “No matter where you are, don’t forget your roots,” she concludes.