Deepa Ganesh

Bangalore: “This is his first original work and I am immensely happy that it has been published,” said an emotional Kamalamma, the late H.Y. Sharada Prasad's companion of six decades.

The erudite Kannadiga was adviser and speech writer to three Prime Ministers of India.

Speaking in the city recently at the launch of his prison diary written in 1942 as a 19-year-old, Ms. Kamalamma said: “He was a good man, but was very hard on himself. Periodically, he kept reminding himself of his vows of honesty and modesty, and even in tough moments never got swayed.”

The book is published both in English ( A Window on the Wall) and Kannada ( Arivina Aadambola) by Navakarnataka Publications as part of its golden jubilee celebrations. Lyrical passages

Chiranjeev Singh, former Chief Secretary, cordially remembered his long conversations with Sharada Prasad on Shivaram Karanth, Mallikarjun Mansur, Gangubai Hangal and V. Doreswami Iyengar. “If only he hadn't spent all his energy on writing political speeches, his literary output would have been something to look forward to,” he said, reading lyrical passages from the prison diary.

Sharada Prasad was rooted in his Kannada land and world; he was a man of rare genius, historian Ramachandra Guha said.

For freedom fighter H.S. Doreswamy, it was like reliving his own prison days.

The English book is compiled and edited by Sugata Srinivasaraju and the Kannada translation is by Rosy D'Souza.