July 16, 2014

Book Review: The House of Kanooru by Kuvempu

When we can gone to Thirthahalli, little did I know that I would come back with a book which would surely show me a life which is far beyond what I would have imagined. The House of Kanooru by Kuvempu, was a pick from Kuvempu's house which the State of Karnataka has turned into a historic museum. It housed many artifacts, books, articles of daily use which I remember being used by my grandmother! Things which I never thought I would see again were the items on display. And I had a strong urge to buy something from there as a memorabilia. And this book is what caught my eye.

Written by Kuvempu himself, and with a introduction by Girish Karnad. This was made into a movie by Girish Karnad, called Kanooru Heggadithi in the year 1999. He acted, directed and wrote the screenplay for this movie, and this movie won the National Film Award for the Best feature film in 2000.

Based around the Kanooru family, two brothers and their love for a girl. The ancestral property which plays as the stage for all that transcribes through a period of 10 years. The seasons change, the people age and children grow up and marry, but some of the smaller things in life such as family, love and respect stay on forever!

The language of the book, being a translation, works to be not that smooth, and at times you can see the Indian speaking style being translated as is in English. This does get a little while getting used to, but nevertheless it was a wonderful read. It narrates the life of villagers and farmers and their seamless association with nature and all that is available around them. I was left many times wondering why didn't I think of all these things which one could do.

The story is predictable and meanders around the main characters and their life. There are many small tit bits which are woven in to strengthen the characters and give depth to the narration. But, overall, I think this is a book for the writing and the clear picture it portrays of the life in the country. The story shows the feudal nature of life and at times the faces people assume with power, poverty, money and loss.

Rating: 3.5/5

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