When G.S. Shivarudrappa visited Maharaja’s College in 2007 for a felicitation, he turned emotional for a moment. He recalled how he had listened to lectures of literary stalwarts and later worked as a Kannada professor there.

Room No 4 of Maharaja’s College, which has a history of more than 127 years, is a “pilgrimage centre” for those who were students of Kannada literature in the college.

This is the place where literary stalwarts A.R. Krishna Shastry, Kuvempu, D.L. Narasimhachar, Ti. Nam. Srikantiah, Ta.Su. Shama Rao honed the literary sensibilities of students. There are pictures in sepia tint on the wall, which hold in them the history and heritage of the place.

When G.S. Shivarudrappa visited this college in 2007 for a felicitation, he turned emotional for a moment. He recalled how he had listened to lectures of literary stalwarts and later worked as a Kannada professor there. On entering the room, he took a look at the sepia-tinted photographs that hung on the walls of the department. Unhooking some of them, he took a closer look, lost to the people around him.

During the felicitation, Shivarudrappa dedicated every success he achieved in the field of literature over the years, including the Rashtrakavi honour, to his teachers who guided him. “It is because of teachers such as Kuvempu, Shama Rao and Srikantaiah that I could achieve the great position attained by Govinda Pai and Kuvempu,” he said, while dubbing Room No 4 as a “pilgrimage centre”.

Recalling the days he spent in the college, both as a student and the teacher, Shivarudrappa said that even after becoming a teacher in Maharaja’s College, he used to listen to the lectures of Srikantaiah in the MA classes.

Getting emotional, he recalled how the poets Bendre and Kuvempu honoured him with a prize for his first poem in the same room. “I got recognition for my first poem on the same dais, where I am standing now,” he said with a choked voice. He also recalled the greatness of his teachers who published his first collection Saamagana, for which Kuvempu wrote the foreword.