Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Just Finished Reading Bharathi Krishnakumar's arunthavappanRi (அருந்தவப்பன்றி).
A very interesting book about a phase in Bharathi's life which has not been talked about much - either by his biographers or by himself. A phase of about six years - teens to early twenties and later a four month period- when he says poetry abandoned him.
The interesting title is from a word Bharathi coined in a poem where he rues about being bereft of poetry (abandoned by kavithA dEvi, is how he puts it). He narrates the story of a sage, who - due to a curse- is about to into a pig. He is asks his son to kill him, rather than let him live a pig's life. But once he turns into a pig, he sinks into the life becoming of it - much to the shock of his son - and forbids him from killing him.
Bharathi, recalling his old lows, likens himself to the life of a the formerly wise-sage wallowing in filth. The suggestion is, the horror of filth is striking only when viewed from the outside/later.
Krishnakumar pieces together a couple of undernoticed poems, rare publications and the semi-autobiographical (autofiction?) bitingly satirical unfinished novelette/short-story Chinna Sankaran kadhai to give us a wider basis to infer about that phase in Bharathi's life.
And in all this, as Krishnakumar himself writes, the flavour is scarcely one of his discrediting scandal but of sympathy as the picture that emerges is that of a struggling human being
Surely worth a read.
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