(12 February 1945 - / Kundapur, Udupi district, Karnataka / India)

Biography of Vaidehi

Vaidehi poet

Janaki Srinivasa Murthy (Kannada: ಜಾನಕಿ ಶ್ರೀನಿವಾಸ ಮೂರ್ತಿ), popularly known by her pen name as Vaidehi (Kannada: ವೈದೇಹಿ) is a well-known writer of modern Kannada language fiction. Vaidehi is one of the most successful woman writer in Kannada and winner of many prestigious national and state level literary awards. She has won the Central Sahitya Akademi Award for her collection of short stories, Krauncha Pakshigalu in 2009.

Early Life

Vaidehi was born on February 12, 1945 to A.V.L Hebbar and Mahalakshmi in Kundapur taluk of Udupi district, Karnataka. She belongs to Kota Brahmin community, a distinct Kannada community mainly found in Kundapur. She grown up in very large family. she lived in a large traditional Brahmin house with many children's, servants, guests and family friends. Her father, A.V.L.Hebbar, is a lawyer and her mother was a second wife of a Hebbar and focal point of the family. Vaidehi speaks a dialect of Kannada, called Kundapur Kannada and uses this dialect in her works. Vaidehi's birth name is Vasanti. the pen-name Vaidehi was given by a Kannada weekly magazine Sudha, she sent a story to Sudha magazine for publishing, but few days later she sent a letter to Sudha weekly magazine editor requesting not to publish the story, as it was a real life story; however, the editor went ahead and published the story by changing her name to Vaidehi, thereafter she become popular and known by name Vaidehi. She did her B.Com (Bachelors of Commerce) in Bhandarkar's college, Kundapur.

Married Life

Vaidehi was married to K. L. Srinivasa Murthy at the age of 23. they have two daughters Nayana Kashyap (née Nayana Murthy) and Pallavi Rao (née Pallavi Murthy). after marriage Vaidehi changed her name to Janaki Srinivasa Murthy and went to Shimoga leaving her native place Kundapur. later they moved to Udupi and then to Manipal. Vaidehi currently lives in Manipal.

Vaidehi daughter Nayana Kashyap is a translator, Kannada writer and English teacher. Nayana has translated many of the Vaidehi's works into English, including five of Vaidehi’s stories. she has translated Vaidehi Kannada novel Jatre into English as A Temple-Fair. A Temple Fair was one of the novel included in Five Novellas by Women which was published by Oxford University Press. Nayana's first collection of poetry in Kannada is Mettila Haadi, she received Attimabbe Pratishtana Award and Kodagina Gowramma Award in 2005 by Kodagu Kannada Sahitya Parishat for her collection of poetry Mettila Haadi. she also tranlsated Pablo Neruda's memoirs as "Nenapu Tereda Kavimana" which has been published by Moulya Prakashana, Karkala. Nayana received M.A and M.Phil degrees and she works as English lecturer in Field Marshal K.M.Cariappa College, Madikeri. she now lives in Madikeri.


Vaidehi has won numerous awards for her writings in Kannada.
Sahitya Akademi Award in 2009 by Government of India for her collection of story stories Krouncha Pakshigalu
Geetha Desai Datti Nidhi by Karnataka Lekhakiyara Sangha in 1985 for her collection of short stories Antharangada Putagalu and in 1992 for her collection of poems Bindu Bindige
Vardhamana Udayonmukha Award in 1992 by Vardhamana Prashasti Peetha, Mudabidire for her collection of short stories Gola
Katha Award by Katha Organisation, New Delhi in 1992 for her collection of short stories Hagalu Geechida Nenta and in 1997 for her collection of short stories Ammacchiyemba Nenapu
Anupama Award in 1993 for her collection of short stories Samaja Shastrajneya Tippanige
Karnataka State Sahitya Akademi Award in 1993 by Government of Karnataka for her Five children's dramas
Karnataka State Sahitya Akademi Award in 1998 by Government of Karnataka for her collection of essays Mallinathana Dhyana
Sahtya Kama Award for her collections of short stories Ammachi Yemba Nenapu
Sadodita Award in 2001 by Shashwathi Trust
Sudha Weekly's Award for her novel Aprushyaru
Daana Chintamani Attimabbe Award by Government of Karnataka
Attimabbe Award by Attimabbe Pratishtan

Vaidehi's Works:

Collection of Short Stories
Mara Gida Balli (1979)
Antharangada Putagalu (1984)
Gola (1986)
Samaja Shastrajneya Tippanige (1991)
Ammacchi Yemba Nenapu (2000)
Hagalu Geechida Nenta
Krouncha Pakshigalu

Mallinathana Dhyana (1996)
Meju Mattu Badagi

Asprushyaru (1992)

Collection of Poems
Bindu Bindige (1990)
Parijatha (1999)
Hoova Kattuva Haadu (2011)

Children's Dramas
Dham Dhoom Suntaragali
Mookana Makkalu
Gombe Macbeth
Nayimari Nataka
Kotu Gumma
Jhum Jham Aane Mathu Putta
Surya Banda
Ardhachandra Mitayi
Hakki Haadu
Somari Olya

Kota Lakshminarayana Karanth - "Nenapinangaladalli Mussanjehothu"
Sediyapu Krishna Bhatta - "Sediyapu Nenapugalu"
B. V. Karanth - "Illiralare Allige Hogalare"(ಇಲ್ಲಿರಲಾರೆ ಅಲ್ಲಿಗೆ ಹೋಗಲಾರೆ)

Bharathiya Mahileyara Swathanthra Horata (translated from Kamaladevi Chattopadhyaya's "Indian women's freedom struggle")
Belliya Sankolegalu (translated from Maithreyi Mukkhopadhyaya's "Silver Shakles")
Surya Kinnariyau (translated from Swapna Dutta's "Sun Fairies")
Sangeetha Samvada (translated from Bhaskar Chandravarkar's "Lecture on Music")

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There, in the wooden box
my mother's sari, enveloped in white muslin,
with mothballs.

Her sense of order is in each one
of its folds,
and the press of her palm.
A universe of ironing lies beneath the pillow.
Tiny packets of camphor, incense and fragrant roots -

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