Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Dattatreya Ramachandra Bendre (ದತ್ತಾತ್ರೇಯ ರಾಮಚಂದ್ರ ಬೇಂದ್ರೆ)

Dattatreya Ramachandra Bendre, the second Jnanpith award recipient from Karnataka, was born on Jan 31, 1896, in Dharwad. Having lost his father at a very young age, Bendre grew up under the guardianship of his uncle and completed his B.A. at the famous Fergusson College in Pune. He got his M.A. in 1934 and worked as a teacher in different schools in different areas. His poem Narabali (Human Sacrifice) got him 3 years' imprisonment at the Hindalga jail, after which he remained unemployed for more than 5 years. He then joined Masti's monthly journal Jeevana as its honorary editor and went on to work in several more schools and colleges before joining the D.A.V. College of Sholapur as professor of Kannada. He remained in this position for 12 years till his superannuation at age 60. But, even after retirement, he continued to work in several places and his was indeed a highly chequered career which exposed him to untold hardships in family life. But, amidst it all, his poetic genius never failed to flower and in fact, his adversities proved to be an ever-lasting source of inspiration and philosophy for his unique brand of poetry.
Bendre composed close to 30 collections of poems, but also produced many memorable plays, short stories, critiques and translations, and he wrote in Marathi too. Bendre's outstanding contributions to literature were recognized in various forms and on various forums. He was elected the President of the 27th Kannada Sahitya Sammelana of Shimoga in 1943; awarded honorary doctorate by the University of Mysore and the Karnataka University; elected Fellow of the Central Sahitya Academy in 1969; honored with the Central Sahitya academy’s award for his poem “Aralu Maralu” and awarded the supreme literary prize of Jnanpith in 1974 for his anthology of poems Naku Thanthi . Word wizard Bendre passed away on October 26, 1986, after playing a historical role in keeping the rich traditions of Kannada poetry alive for over 5 decades. Dr. Vaman Bendre, a renowned poet, critic and translator of Kannada and Marathi literature and son of D.R. Bendre, has authored a biography of his father titled Bendre Jeevana Parichaya.
Bendre is considered as colossal of modern Kannada poetry. Progenitor of bhavgeets or lyrical poems, many veterans in both English and Kannada languages think that some of his poems deserve a place in world literature. "Bendre's poetry shows vivid imagination, grace and power of expression characteristic of the best poetry" has said Masti Venkatesha Iyengar, a great short story writer of Kannada.
Bendre was born of a culturally rich but materially very poor Chitpavan Brahmin family in 1896 in Dharwad. His Grand father was a Dasagranthi (Master of ten volumes of sacred lore) and scholar in Sanskrit classical literature. His father was also learned in Sanskrit. But he caught scrofula (TB of lymphatic glands of neck) and after twelve years of suffering and also mental illness, died when Dattatraya was twelve. His Granny (mother's mother) and mother ran a khanavali (eatery) to support and educate the family. Both the brave women left a lasting impression on this brilliant lad who later paid rare poetic tribute to his granny Godubai. He adopted the pen-name of Ambikatanayadatta (Datta, son of Ambika) after his mother and immortalized her.
Dattatraya Ramachandra BendreAmbikatanaya Datta (1896-1981)
Those were days of early resurgence of nationalism. Educated and traveling government employees, roving spiritual gurus and bachelors frequented Bendre Khanavali and young Bendre was exposed to various national trends. With photographic memory, he has listed the numerous rural games and folk entertainments he witnessed and played in his short autobiography. Kamankatte, where he grew, was a strange admixture of courtesans' quarters, temples, old houses of Sanskrit scholars, which housed rare books of Sanskrit, Marathi classics and a place of cultural activities of keertans and recitations. Alur Venkat Rao started his national school in this street only.
Bendre completed his primary and high school education in Dharwad and with his uncle's help completed B.A. at Ferguson College, Pune in 1918. He became a teacher in Victoria High School and got married the same year, (1919) to Laxmibai.
Reading and writing of Kannada poetry was not popular in the early decades of last century. It is strange that Bendre whose mother tongue was Marathi, and who was educated in Pune, considered the heart of Marathi culture, should turn out the promoter and pioneer of Kannada writing in North Karnataka. This region, comprising four districts of Bombay Presidency, itself was known as "Southern Maratha Country". By precept and practice he started a custom of reading old Kannada classics, started literary festivals after Pampa Vidyaranya and Santakavi, encouraged young poets to read out their compositions in such festivals. This was long before Kannada Sahitya Parishat started arranging poetry recitation (Kavi Sammelan) as part of literary conferences.
He formed 'Geleyara Gumpu' (Group of Friends) in 1922. This friends' circle, drew poets, writers, intellectuals from all over Karnataka. Many of these turned to be front line writers later. Ananda Kanda, Sham. Ba. Joshi, Siddavanahalli Krishna Sharma, Enke, G.B.Joshi, V.K.Gokak, and R.S.Mugali are only a few names of the long list. Mainly formed for the study of culture and literature, and exchange of literary ideas, the friend's started a journal 'Svadharma' and ran it for two years. 'Jay Karnataka' a premier monthly provided platform for budding writers, besides reviving fold literature including rare ballads, folk songs and traditional songs. collections of poems were published featuring twenty six poets of this region and Hyderabad State. The craving for literary togetherness brought in many new aspirants. Though the Geleyara Gumpu was disbanded in 1933, the members who came from different parts of (then) divided Karnataka, formed associations in their workplace and worked for spread of modern Kannada literature.
Bendre had his lion's share of tragedies and tribulations. He was imprisoned for alleged sedition in his poem "Narabali". House arrest in Mugad village followed. Once out, he could not get any job, being branded Anti-government. He again went to Pune and completed M.A.
Finally he got teaching assignment in Pune and Sholapur colleges. He lost six children, two of them, one eldest and the youngest within a gap of one week. Only three survived (two sons and a daughter). Poverty and tragedy did not deter him from literary pursuits. His trend-setting Sakhigeet (love lyrics), translation of Kalidasa's Meghdoot, Gari Nadaleele, Moorti all poetry collections, Nirabharana Sundari (essays and short stories) and works on literary criticism followed. Credit must go to his friends and well-wishers who took initiative in collecting, copying and publishing his works. It is well known that his poetic output is far less compared to his tremendous genius and mastery of vedic, classical Sanskrit, old Kannada and Marathi languages.
Keertinath Kurtakoti, G.B. Joshi and D.R. Bendre. Picture from Manohara Grintha Mala Collection
He was a visionary as is evident from his spiritual poems reflecting vedic wisdom. From such poems, down to folk-style compositions, his adoptions and inventions of meter is astounding. He used diverse technique for spiritual lyrics, classical style for sonnets and traditional as well as colloquial idiom for pastoral and folk type lyrics. Symbolism is characteristic of his poetry. His poem Butterfly (Patargitti) sung as a nursery rhyme speaks of colors of temptation. Another one 'Morning' (Mudalmaneya) becomes symbolic of all pervading peace or, the poet's yearning for it. In the "Dance Eternal" (kuniyonu bara), all diverse currents of thought meet in on great confluence. Apparently, all Bendre's poems could be set to music and abound in alliteration. But there is always hidden meaning which only trained poetic mind can decipher.
As a person Bendre was quite friendly, suave and sociable. He mixed with intellectuals and illiterate villagers on equal terms. He loved and interpreted life in different colors and late in life – in numerals. Numerology became his fad and writing esoteric and abstruse, ideas baffled his admirers.
Maharashtra was the first state to recognize Bendre's deep scholarship and awarded prestigious Kelkar Award for his work on Vitthala and other research in Marathi. Central Sahitya Academy Award and Jnanapeeth awards were bestowed. Mysore and Karnataka University honorary doctorates followed.
Karnataka Government granted a meager monthly honorarium of Rs.250/- (Rupees two hundred fifty only) to this King of Lyrics. A man of frugal habits, Bendre managed his personal expenditure within this amount till the very end. This included his surgery for cancer, in a Mumbai Hospital and funeral expenses, as per his last wish. Not a single rupee remained in his bank balance finally, his son Dr. Vaman Bendre writes. Dr. Vaman looked after his father in last years, took down whatever Bendre recited or spoke and brought out revised editions of Bendre's works, with appropriate foot- notes.
Late Professor Keertinath Kurtakoti and Dr. Vaman Bendre have brought out a volume 'Shravana Pratibhe' On Bendre's poetry. This is the 5th volume of Puta Bangara – published by Manohara Grantha Mala on the occasion of fiftieth year of its inception. Other four volumes deal with select works which are trendsetters. (Krishnanand Kamat’s travelogue Nanu Amerikege Hogidde figures in the 4th Volume).
Prof. G.S.Amur's study of Bendre 'Bhuvanada Bhagya' won him Central Sahitya Academy Award and helps readers to understand mysticism, symbolism and overall assessment of Bendre's works.
 ಹಕ್ಕಿ ಹಾರುತಿದೆ ನೋಡಿದಿರಾ? 
ಇರುಳಿರುಳಳಿದು ದಿನ ದಿನ ಬೆಳಗೆ
ಸುತ್ತುಮುತ್ತಲೂ ಮೇಲಕೆ ಕೆಳಗೆ
ಗಾವುದ ಗಾವುದ ಗಾವುದ ಮುಂದೆ
ಎವೆತೆರೆದಿಕ್ಕುವ ಹೊತ್ತಿನ ಒಳಗೆ
ಹಕ್ಕಿ ಹಾರುತಿದೆ ನೋಡಿದಿರಾ?

ಕರಿನರೆ ಬಣ್ಣದ ಪುಚ್ಚಗಳುಂಟು
ಬಿಳಿ-ಹೊಳೆ ಬಣ್ಣದ ಗರಿ -ಗರಿಯುಂಟು
ಕೆನ್ನನ ಹೊನ್ನನ ಬಣ್ಣ-ಬಣ್ಣಗಳ
ರೆಕ್ಕೆಗಳೆರಡೂ ಪಕ್ಕದೊಲುಂಟು
ಹಕ್ಕಿ ಹಾರುತಿದೆ ನೋಡಿದಿರಾ?

ನೀಲಮೇಘಮಂಡಲ-ಸಮ ಬಣ್ಣ
ಮುಗಿಲಿಗೆ ರೆಕ್ಕೆಗಳೊಡೆದವೊ ಅಣ್ಣಾ
ಚಿಕ್ಕಿಯ ಮಾಲೆಯ ಸೆಕ್ಕಿಸಿಕೊಂಡು
ಸೂರ್ಯ-ಚಂದ್ರರನು ಮಾಡಿದೆ ಕಣ್ಣಾ
ಹಕ್ಕಿ ಹಾರುತಿದೆ ನೋಡಿದಿರಾ?

ರಾಜ್ಯದ ಸಾಮ್ರಾಜ್ಯದ ತೆನೆ ಒಕ್ಕಿ
ಮಂಡಲ-ಗಿಂಡಲಗಳ ಗಡ ಮುಕ್ಕಿ
ತೇಲಿಸಿ ಮುಳುಗಿಸಿ ಖಂಡ-ಖಂಡಗಳ
ಸಾರ್ವಭೌಮರಾ ನೆತ್ತಿಯ ಕುಕ್ಕಿ
ಹಕ್ಕಿ ಹಾರುತಿದೆ ನೋಡಿದಿರಾ?

ಯುಗ-ಯುಗಗಳ ಹಣೆ ಬರಹವ ಒರಸಿ
ಮನ್ವಂತರಗಳ ಭಾಗ್ಯವ ತರೆಸಿ
ರೆಕ್ಕೆಯ ಬೀಸುತ ಚೇತನಗೊಳಿಸಿ
ಹೊಸಗಾಲದ ಹಸುಮಕ್ಕಳ ಹರಸಿ
ಹಕ್ಕಿ ಹಾರುತಿದೆ ನೋಡಿದಿರಾ?

ಬೆಳ್ಳಿಯ ಹಳ್ಳಿಯ ಮೇರೆಯ ಮೀರಿ
ತಿಂಗಳೂರಿನ ನೀರನು ಹೀರಿ
ಆಡಲು ಹಾಡಲು ತಾ ಹಾರಾಡಲು
ಮಂಗಳಲೋಕದ ಅಂಗಳಕೇರಿ
ಹಕ್ಕಿ ಹಾರುತಿದೆ ನೋಡಿದಿರಾ?

ಮುಟ್ಟಿದೆ ದಿಗ್ಮಂಡಲ ಅಂಚ
ಆಚಿಗೆ ಚಾಚಿದೆ ತನ್ನಯ ಕುಂಚ
ಬ್ರಹ್ಮಾಂಡಲಗಳ ಒಡೆಯಲು ಎಂದೊ
ಬಲ್ಲರು ಯಾರಾ ಹಾಕಿದ ಹೊಂಚ!
ಹಕ್ಕಿ ಹಾರುತಿದೆ ನೋಡಿದಿರಾ? 

ನಾದಲೀಲೆ - ಕುರುಡು ಕಾಂಚಾಣ 

ದ.ರಾ. ಬೇಂದ್ರೆ (ಅಂಬಿಕಾತನಯದತ್ತ) | ನಾದಲೀಲೆ
ಕುರುಡು ಕಾಂಚಾಣ ಕುಣಿಯುತಲಿತ್ತು
ಕಾಲಿಗೆ ಬಿದ್ದವರ ತುಳಿಯುತಲಿತ್ತೊs
ಕುರುಡು ಕಾಂಚಾಣ || ಪಲ್ಲವಿ ||

ಬಾಣಂತಿಯೆಂಬಾ ಸಾ-
ಬಾಣದ ಬಿಳುಪಿನಾ
ಕಾಣದ ಕಿರುಗೆಜ್ಜೆ ಕಾಲಾಗೆ ಇತ್ತೋ
ಸಣ್ಣ ಕಂದಮ್ಮಗಳ
ಕಣ್ಣೀನ ಕವಡಿಯ
ತಣ್ಣನ್ನ ಜೋಮಾಲೆ ಕೊರಳೊಳಗಿತ್ತೋ;

ಬಡವರ ಒಲವಿನ
ಸುಡು ಸುಡು ಪಂಜವು ಕೈಯೊಳಗಿತ್ತೊ;
ಕಂಬನಿ ಕುಡಿಯುವ
ಹುಂಬ ಬಾಯಿಲೆ ಮೈ-
ದುಂಬಿದಂತಧೊ ಉಧೊ ಎನ್ನುತ್ತಲಿತ್ತೊ;

ಕೂಲಿ ಕಂಬಳಿಯವರ
ಪಾಲಿನ ಮೈದೊಗಲ
ಧೂಳಿಯ ಭಂಡಾರ ಹಣೆಯೊಳಗಿತ್ತೊ;
ಗುಡಿಯೊಳಗೆ ಗಣಣ ಮಾ-
ಹಡಿಯೊಳಗೆ ತನನ ಅಂ-
ಗಡಿಯೊಳಗ ಝಣಣ ನುಡಿಗೊಡುತ್ತಿತ್ತೋ;

ಹ್ಯಾಂಗಾರೆ ಕುಣಿಕುಣಿದು
ಮಂಗಾಟ ನಡೆದಾಗ
ಅಂಗಾತ ಬಿತ್ತೋ, ಹೆಗಲಿ ಎತ್ತೋ.

(ಅಂಬಿಕಾತನಯದತ್ತ) | ಭಾವಗೀತೆ | ಶ್ರಾವಣ 

ಮುಗಿಲ ಮಾರಿಗೆ ರಾಗರತಿಯಾ....
ಮುಗಿಲ ಮಾರಿಗೆ ರಾಗರತಿಯಾ....
ನಂಜ ಏರಿತ್ತ, ಆಗ ಸಂಜೆ ಆಗಿತ್ತ
ಆಗ ಸಂಜೆ ಆಗಿತ್ತ
ಮುಗಿಲ ಮಾರಿಗೆ ರಾಗರತಿಯಾ....
ನಂಜ ಏರಿತ್ತ, ಆಗ ಸಂಜೆ ಆಗಿತ್ತ
ಆಗ ಸಂಜೆ ಆಗಿತ್ತ
ನೆಲದ ಅಂಚಿಗೆ ಮಂಜಿನ ಮುಸುಕೂ
ಹ್ಯಾಂಗೋ ಬಿದ್ದಿತ್ತಾ, ಗಾಳಿಗೆ ಮೇಲಕ್ಕೆದ್ದಿತ್ತ
ಗಾಳಿಗೆ ಮೇಲಕ್ಕೆದ್ದಿತ್ತ
ಮುಗಿಲ ಮಾರಿಗೆ ರಾಗರತಿಯಾ....
ನಂಜ ಏರಿತ್ತ, ಆಗ ಸಂಜೆ ಆಗಿತ್ತ
ಆಗ ಸಂಜೆ ಆಗಿತ್ತ

ಬಿದಿಗಿ ಚಂದ್ರನ ಚೊಗಚಿ ನಗಿವು
ಮೆಲ್ಲಗ ಓಡಿತ್ತ, ಮ್ಯಾಲಕ ಬೆಳ್ಳಿನ ಕೂಡಿತ್ತ
ಬಿದಿಗಿ ಚಂದ್ರನ ಚೊಗಚಿ ನಗಿವು
ಮೆಲ್ಲಗ ಓಡಿತ್ತ, ಮ್ಯಾಲಕ ಬೆಳ್ಳಿನ ಕೂಡಿತ್ತ
ಇರುಳ ಹರಳಿನ ಅರಳ ಮಲ್ಲಿಗೆ
ಜಾವಿಗೆ ಹಾಂಗಿತ್ತ, ಸೂಸ್ಯಾವ ಚಿಕ್ಕೆ ಹತ್ತಿತ್ತ

ಮುಗಿಲ ಮಾರಿಗೆ ರಾಗರತಿಯಾ....
ನಂಜ ಏರಿತ್ತ, ಆಗ ಸಂಜೆ ಆಗಿತ್ತ
ಆಗ ಸಂಜೆ ಆಗಿತ್ತ

ಬೊಗಸೆಗಣ್ಣಿನ ಬಯಕೆ ಹೆಣ್ಣು
ನೀರಿಗೆ ಹೋಗಿತ್ತ.. ತಿರುಗಿ ಮನೆಗೆ ಸಾಗಿತ್ತ..
ಬೊಗಸೆಗಣ್ಣಿನ ಬಯಕೆ ಹೆಣ್ಣು
ನೀರಿಗೆ ಹೋಗಿತ್ತ.. ತಿರುಗಿ ಮನೆಗೆ ಸಾಗಿತ್ತ..
ಕಾಮಿ ಬೆಚ್ಚಿಹಾಂಗ ಭಾವಿಹಾದಿ
ಕಾಲಾಗ ಸುಳಿದಿತ್ತ.. ಎರಗಿ ಹಿಂದಕ್ಕುಳಿದಿತ್ತ..

ಮುಗಿಲ ಮಾರಿಗೆ ರಾಗರತಿಯಾ....
ನಂಜ ಏರಿತ್ತ, ಆಗ ಸಂಜೆ ಆಗಿತ್ತ
ಆಗ ಸಂಜೆ ಆಗಿತ್ತ

ಮಳ್ಳ ಗಾಳಿ ಸುಳಿದಳ್ಳ ಕೈಲೆ
ಸೆರಗನು ಹಿಡಿದಿತ್ತ.. ಮತ್ತ ಮತ್ತ ಬೆರಗಿಲೆ ಬಿಡತಿತ್ತ..
ಮಳ್ಳ ಗಾಳಿ ಸುಳಿದಳ್ಳ ಕೈಲೆ
ಸೆರಗನು ಹಿಡಿದಿತ್ತ.. ಮತ್ತ ಮತ್ತ ಬೆರಗಿಲೆ ಬಿಡತಿತ್ತ..
ಒಂದು ಮನದ ಗಿಳಿ ಹಿಂದ ನೆಳ್ಳಿಗೆ
ಹುಣ್ಣಿವೆ ಬರಲಿತ್ತ.. ತನ್ನಾ ಮೈಮನ ಮರೆತಿತ್ತ..

ಮುಗಿಲ ಮಾರಿಗೆ ರಾಗರತಿಯಾ....
ನಂಜ ಏರಿತ್ತ, ಆಗ ಸಂಜೆ ಆಗಿತ್ತ
ಆಗ ಸಂಜೆ ಆಗಿತ್ತ
ನೆಲದ ಅಂಚಿಗೆ ಮಂಜಿನ ಮುಸುಕೂ
ಹ್ಯಾಂಗೋ ಬಿದ್ದಿತ್ತಾ, ಗಾಳಿಗೆ ಮೇಲಕ್ಕೆದ್ದಿತ್ತ
ಗಾಳಿಗೆ ಮೇಲಕ್ಕೆದ್ದಿತ್ತ
ಮುಗಿಲ ಮಾರಿಗೆ ರಾಗರತಿಯಾ....ನಾನು ಬಡವಿ, ಆತ ಬಡವ
ಒಲವೆ ನಮ್ಮ ಬದುಕು
ಬಳಸಿಕೊಂಡೆವದನೆ ನಾವು
ಅದಕು ಇದಕು ಎದಕು ||ಪ ||

ಹತ್ತಿರಿರಲಿ ದೂರವಿರಲಿ
ಅವನೆ ರಂಗಸಾಲೆ
ಕಣ್ಣು ಕಟ್ಟುವಂತ ಮೂರ್ತಿ
ಕಿವಿಗೆ ಮೆಚ್ಚಿನೋಲೆ

ಚಳಿಗೆ ಬಿಸಿಲಿಗೊಂದೆ ಹದನ
ಅವನ ಮೈಯ ಮುತ್ತೆ
ಅದೇ ಗಳಿಗೆ ಮೈಯ ತುಂಬ
ನನಗೆ ನವಿರು ಬತ್ತೆ

ಆತ ಕೊಟ್ಟ ವಸ್ತು ಒಡವೆ
ನನಗೆ ಅವಗೆ ಗೊತ್ತು
ತೋಳುಗಳಿಗೆ ತೋಳ ಬಂಧಿ
ಕೆನ್ನೆ ತುಂಬ ಮುತ್ತು 

ಕುಂದು ಕೊರತೆ ತೋರಲಿಲ್ಲ
ಬೇಕು ಹೆಚ್ಚಿಗೇನು?
ಹೊಟ್ಟೆಗಿತ್ತ ಜೀವಫಲವ
ತುಟಿಗೆ ಹಾಲು ಜೇನು

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