75 years on, Mankuthimmanna Kagga lives on

March 23, 2018 12:00 am | Updated 03:41 am IST - Bengaluru

D.V. Gundappa’s classic is considered one of the masterpieces of the Kannada literary world

“What is the use of you eating so much? The body gets nourished from whatever is assimilated by the stomach; remainder is expelled as waste. You may earn how much ever, but what is it that you acquire? A fistful of flour, isn’t it?”

These lines — a translated version by a music company — may sound familiar to some, new to some others, but largely make sense to both categories.

DVG’s (D.V. Gundappa) ‘Mankuthimmanna Kagga’, considered one of Kannada literary world’s masterpieces, lives on even in 2018, reinventing itself in more modern avatars as well. From an app dedicated to what is referred to as the ‘Bhagavad Gita in Kannada’ to animated videos explaining the content, the popularity of the classic has not diminished even 75 years after it was first published.

Animated musical

A city-based music studio has created videos, some in animated form, some others as a motion picture, introducing the kaggas (collection of verses) to newer audiences. Up on YouTube, one of the renditions is a peppy number with English subtitles (cited above).

M. K. Ramanujan, a music composer whose Musicloud Studio and Technology in Sahakarnagar made the videos, said he has been a fan since school. “Becoming a music composer was a childhood dream. I composed music for a Tamil film in 2010. But I have always felt closer to Kannada language and literature, and wanted to bring out something like Malgudi Days . I decided to bring out musical stories for Mankuthimmanna Kagga , which has a lot of relevance to today’s life,” he said.

The team has composed an animated music video for one kagga, and one has been translated into English.

“Another one has been made into a motion picture using stop footage,” he added, explaining that the intention was to keep the kaggas like a jingle to keep the audience engages as the verses are all about reading between the lines.

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