Jokumara Swamy and Sirisampige
Author: Chandrasekhar Kambar
Jokumara Swamy Translated by Rajeev Taranath | Sirisampige Translated by Rowena Hill with K. P. Vasudevan and M.S. Ramaswamy
Publisher: Kadalu ISBN: 9781907219672, 192 pages Format: Paperback
Jokumaraswami, a phallic god of fertility worshipped in Karnataka, is identified with Basanna, the fearless peasant protagonist who stands up to the tyrannical feudal lord with tragic consequences, reliving the myth of the god in the person of the hero. In this secularised reworking of a religious myth, Chandrasekhar Kambar’s vibrant, earthy play creatively uses the local folk theatre form of bayalaata, blending worship, music, dance, song, narration, sex, death and religion to convey a powerfully contemporary anti-feudal message.
Sirisampige, a philosophical work deals with the rift between the material and the spiritual, the body and the mind. Chandrasekhar Kambar uses the traditional religious Yakshagana performance form of his native Karnataka to present a secular play, blending the ageless and the contemporary in the unique manner he has made so much his own.
‘Through Kambar, the dramatist has once again become the poet too… (His) work springs from the soil and yet assimilates modernism’
Chandrasekhar Kambar, Jnanpith Awardee, is an eminent poet, playwright, novelist, folklorist, film maker and composer of film music whose contribution to literature is immense. His works are inspired by folk tradition, particularly the folklore and mythology of Northern Karnataka which is richly woven into his writings. He draws upon the rich resources from popular speech and folklore with effortless ease. His award - winning plays have made a tremendous impact on contemporary Indian theatre. A Fulbright scholar, Kambar has taught at the University of Chicago for two years, and in Bangalore University for more than two decades. He is the founder Vice-Chancellor of Kannada University, Hampi and has also served as the Chairman of the National School of Drama, New Delhi. He has been felicitated with the Jnanpith Award, Sahitya Akademi Award, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and the Padma Shri for Literature.
Other titles by the Author:
Singarevva and the Palace