It’s K.S. Narasimhaswamy’s birth anniversary today

Had he lived, prominent poet K.S. Narasimhaswamy, who carved a niche for himself in Kannada literature, would have stepped into his centenary year on Sunday.

Born in Kikkeri of Mandya district on January 26, 1915, Narasimhaswamy touched hearts of the people through his simple poetry of love and the joys and sorrows of everyday living.

Innovative style

Considered to be a part of the Navodaya (Romantic) movement in Kannada literature, K.S. Narasimhaswamy was able to take Kannada poetry to a broad audience by virtue of his innovative and simple style.

His poems have become as popular as the famous jasmine flowers of Mysore and old-timers still remember his poems that celebrated conjugal love.

His love poems were inspired by Robert Burns, but shaped in the context of the lives of middle-class couples. Narasimhaswamy’s most popular collection of poems Mysore Mallige published in 1942 has seen more than 32 prints and was for long regarded an ideal gift for newly married couples in Karnataka.

Much awarded

He was conferred prestigious awards including Pampa Award, Central Sahitya Academi Award and Karnataka Sahitya Academy Award.

Though Narasimhaswamy never attempted to identify himself with any particular literary tradition, a section of his literary critics preferred to describe his poetry as “songs”. However, he silenced his critics by writing interpretive poems like Gadiyarada Angadi Munde which were more modern in their choice of theme and style.

A unique film

Noted filmmaker T.S. Nagabharana made a romantic film based on this work titled Mysooru Mallige. This was the first such film in Kannada where a story was written with the framework provided by songs.

Gentle tone

Critics have identified Narasimhaswamy as a poet whose tone was always gentle, whether he spoke about love, life or death. He never chose loud, harsh and bitter words to express his fear and frustration.

His poems reflected a dignified acceptance of everything in life. He said in his poem: Taaregala Meetuvevu/ Chandirana Daatuvevu/ Olumeyolagondu Naavu (We strum the stars/ Cross the moon/ We, people in love).

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