Friday, September 29, 2006

Chandrasekhar B Kambhar

He 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.

Kambar, who has been closely associated with folk theatre since childhood, says this rich folk background of his is acquired not inherited. His father was a blacksmith and folk theatre, for Kambar, was a refuge where he could hide from his parents and escape into its colours. Over the years, he has perfected a symbolic form that effectively communicates his vision of human conditions through a theatrical language which derives its vitality from the life of the people and is yet distinctly individual. His award-winning plays have made a tremendous impact on contemporary Indian theatre.

A natural poet, he perceives the world with a poet’s eyes and his poems present an astonishing variety of forms, themes and concerns. His approach to poetry is through the ballad rather than the lyric. According to him poetry when enacted is drama and drama when read is poetry.

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 National School of Drama, New Delhi.

His repertoire includes plays, poetry collections, novels, research papers, as well as feature films and film music compositions. He has participated in the World Poetry Festival twice and has been felicitated with the Sahitya Akademi Award, Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and the Padma Shri for Literature.

Chandrasekhar Kambhar's work "Singarevva and the Palace" has been translated from Kannada by Laxmi Chandrashekar, for Katha. This is also Katha's first novel.

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