Biography of Vaidehi
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.
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.
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
Collection of Short Stories
Mara Gida Balli (1979)
Antharangada Putagalu (1984)
Samaja Shastrajneya Tippanige (1991)
Ammacchi Yemba Nenapu (2000)
Hagalu Geechida Nenta
Mallinathana Dhyana (1996)
Meju Mattu Badagi
Collection of Poems
Bindu Bindige (1990)
Hoova Kattuva Haadu (2011)
Dham Dhoom Suntaragali
Jhum Jham Aane Mathu Putta
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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Tell Me, You Who Know
Tell me, you who know of poetry – I know nothing of it but I know what rasam is.
She, He And Language
She said, hunger, thirst. He said, eat well, drink. She wept. He smiled.
My Mother's Sari
There, in the wooden box my mother’s sari, enveloped in white muslin, with mothballs
A SONG FOR SHIVA AS SHE GIVES HIM A BATH
Having sprinkled some holy water over the head of the tramp of the three worlds Gowri took Shiva to his bath. Seating the three-eyed one lovingly on a tripod, seemingly concerned at his fatigue at having travelled the three worlds, she flicked off a speck of dust. Holding back her grief, although she knew the street and the house from which the dust had come, she took Nataraja to his bath. "How was the chase?" she asked pointedly. "Here, a pot of water for Ganga's birth, Here, one for the Manikarnika pool, A pot each for every one of the rivers you have been in, and here, the last one, filled with my perennial rage. . . ." When a teardrop fell to mix with water making it boiling hot, Shiva cried out, breaking into a sweat, "What do you think I am? When you aren't there, I'm a monk, remember," "Where do I figure in your list of girls, O God, to hear this?" she asked and pinched him gently, washing him. Scrubbing the monk's body of ash, she looked at him. Gently rubbing him dry, she offered him the cushion of her thighs and whispered an appeal. "O my Shiva, recall all the rivers you have known and sleep, my lord." Under the silken words the hunter's heart, having conquered the world's poison, was like a light pleasure-boat, and the boat took him away, far far away, from Gowri. It was nothing new, this marvel of Shiva being there and not being there. She sat without fretting, controlling her anguish. Though tender, our Gowri is a proud, proud girl. When Ishwara the monk comes back from his wanderings, Gowri calls him for his bath. Rubbing his body with medicinal oil and washing the evil eyes that have fallen upon him she gives the fever-wracked tramp a decoction of kiratha twigs.
TELL ME, YOU WHO KNOW . . .
Tell me, you who know of poetry - I know nothing of it but I know what rasam is. Do you think it's a mere nothing? It calls for a blend of the principles of water, aroma and essence - a tempered state reached after simmering . . . Thus . . . There it was in the corner, a container with rasam, on a seemingly dead and ash-covered coalfire, waiting and waiting . . . Does it matter that it waits? In the great durbar of meat dishes seasoned with spices that sparkled, of servers who danced as they walked, of laughter and chatter, it had waited, since morning, the clear rasam on a seemingly dead coalfire, simmering, still fresh even at night. You who know all about poetry, tell me, do you know what rasam is? Forgive me, I don't know any poetry.
MY MOTHER'S SARI
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 - her perfume. My mother's sari's tucked-in eagerness coupled with the jingling of bangles is the zest to get down to work. Lines running across the broad pallu, the unbroken bridges of an upright life, keeping all evil at bay - a cane to reprove naughty children. Folds tucked into a knot, a mysterious treasure-house of meanings, the pretty yellow Madhura sari with its green border of blooms . . . . . . that queen was perhaps like my mother. Endless is my mother's sari - the more I wrap it around me, the more it grows. I remember becoming a midget once trying to measure it, trying to drape it. My mother's sari - the latex of mango and cashew, a heaven of Ranja, Kepala and Suragi golden wheat-beads auguring the New Year Kani, the old rolling over each year to yield a new import. My mother's sari, with stars all over its body, shields those in distress from rain or shine, it glows uniquely in the darkness My mother's sari of voile or handloom, with a small dream of silk When the dream came true, Father was no more. She wears it now but the dream is gone. There! My mother's old, Udupi weavers' sari looks at me from where it hangs. I unfold it and envelop myself in it uttering with a long sigh the word ‘Amma' - a word that remains forever fresh, however worn with use.
SHE, HE AND LANGUAGE
She said, hunger, thirst. He said, eat well, drink. She wept. He smiled. The other day he said, window, not door as she'd imagined. Wall, he said. She thought it was space - was it because all is revealed when a wall breaks? She prepared his favourite payasam What he ate was rayatham. Why is everything so topsy-turvy? Was there no air between them, and so no waves either? Heads down, words in water send out a forlorn cry. It was then that suicide was mentioned. What did he say? He found it funny, didn't he? It happens sometimes. The sea isn't the sea. What one assumes to be the shore is the mere hump of fish-back. You say something Another meaning unfolds. The banter of words, you know. She: Be honest and tell me, Which one of us is more insane? He: What did you say? Which one wishes to die first? She: It's hot. Shall I open the window for some air? He: What? Hunger, thirst?
A Song For Shiva As She Gives Him A Bath
Having sprinkled some holy water over the head of the tramp of the three worlds Gowri took Shiva to his bath.
MY MOTHER'S SARI
There, in the wooden box
my mother's sari, enveloped in white muslin,
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 -