E – Literature ..Emerging Trends
“Multilingual Literature in the Indian context –emerging trends” has been the seminar topic which I attended recently. I really like this topic because this is a topic on which I have been reflecting a lot. As I am familiar with Kannada literature, I am immensely pleased to share some of my experiences in E-literature , ie blogs, web sites and of course newspaper supplements. For this purpose I have made a study of www.avadhimag.com and www.surahonne.com www.ekanasu.com , www.kendasampige.com panjumagazine.com along with newspaper supplements such as Udayavani, Prajavani, Kannadaprabha and Vijayavani. Not everyone can afford to be the part of a literary group due to time and financial constraints and even the hierarchy in literary circles. For such people, blogs and web magazines provide a scope for self expression and publication.
People who write on face book and blogs are ordinary people who share their joys, sorrows, fears and dreams in a simple, non literary way. At the same time they are a sort of modern folklore in that they speak of contemporary politics, moral standards conflicts etc. Articles about child abuse, school reopening, then of course kitchen recipies , queries regarding law, domestic issues, youth issues etc are discussed. Most magazines contain one column for youngsters also. As we know youth is a tempestuous age comprising of love and heartache to youngsters and writers like Prakash Jalahalli, , Naveen Madhugiri, harohalli Ravindra etc represent a sort of youth , especially Dalit identity.
I think it is not impertinence to mention my own little efforts at writing here. I have been writing for Udayavani, Sakhi magazine, avadhimag.com and surahonne.com for the past five years and it has been a very rewarding experience. In my opinion writing articles in face book and blogs is a sort of empowerment, considering that writing too is a mode of resistance. Infact it is cyber feminism, as it enables women to raise their voice despite their constraints. Cyber space has its own strong points. For example, a woman writer such as Smitha Sampaje, who lives in a remote village in Madikeri could communicate with litterateurs throughout Karnataka.
There are many women writers such as Bharati B.V, Hema Kallambella, Anjali Ramanna, Sandhya Nagaraj, etc who regularly write in face book and blogs .
One redeeming aspect of blogs and face book literature is its naive honesty. People who write in these websites are not professional writers. At the same time, they have an urge to give expression to the undercurrent of pathos in the rosy phenomena of middle class life. Here I would like to add that being a middle class Indian itself is not an easy thing. A ‘proper’ middle class person is a torn individual between ambition and conflicts of morality, both at individual and collective level. Hence, studying their literature is a study of a particular segment of society, its social, economic, political and cultural ramifications.
As the topic of this seminar is about the literature of the marginalised, I would like to take a woman writer, ie Smitha Amritaaj Sampaje, who also happens to be my best friend. Being a woman writer has never been easy in the Indian context. Virginia Woolf’s statement that ‘a woman must have money and a room of her own’ to write fiction holds good even now. Women, especially housewives have little exposure to the outside world and their voice is the real voice of creative genius, because it is very original and authentic in experience. Smitha has three books to her credit, two anthology of poems viz ‘ಕಾಲ ಕಾಯುವುದಿಲ್ಲ ‘ , ‘ ತುಟಿಯಂಚಿನಲ್ಲಿ ಉliದ kaviteಗಳು’ and a collection of essays. ‘ಅಂಗಳದಂಚಿನ ಕನವರಿಕೆಗಳು ” Most of these poems have been published in blogs and newspaper supplements. She has been recognised by Karnataka Sahitya Parishat which has sponsored the publication of her poetry anthology. I consider Smitha’s emergence as a writer as a sort of Cyber feminism because most of her communication is through emails, blogs and cyber space, a testimony of cyber feminism.
Smitha Amritha Raj Sampaje’s poems are the expressions of a very innocent, inquisitive mind, looking at nature and world in a child like manner. Her poems have a very nice, transparent vocabulary and an optimistic mindset despite the struggle involved in poetic activity. Her poems are on various topics which cause ripples in a sensitive soul yearning for experiences. For example,
Her faith in literary craft and the urge to cross limits is expressed in her poem ‘ನದಿಯ ಕವಿತೆ’.
ಕಟೆದು ನಿಂತಿದೆ ದಡ
ಪುಟಿವ ಭಾವ ಸೆಲೆಗೆ
ಇದಿರು ಸಿಕ್ಕ ದಾರಿಯಷ್ಟೆ ದಿಟ
In her opinion, writing itself is an act of happiness which gives hope and faith despite the monotony of life. Her keen observation of nature and intense sensitivity is seen in the line :
ಸುಮ್ಮನೆ ನಿಂತಿಲ್ಲ ಅವಳು
ತುಂಬೆಲ್ಲಾ ಅದೃಶ್ಯ ಕವಿತೆ (ಕವನ: ಮಳೆ ಮತ್ತು ಅವಳು)
A recurring theme of Smitha Amritaraj’s poetry is the yearning for a platonic companionship, as in her poem
ನಂಟುಗಳೆಲ್ಲ ಅಂಟು ಕಳೆದುಕೊಂಡಂತಿರಲು
ಸಂಬಂಧಗಳಾಚೆಯ ನೀ ಬಂದು
ಕಾವ್ಯ ಗಂಟು ಬೆಸೆಯುವಾಗ
ಮನಸ್ಸಿಗೆ ಎಲ್ಲಿಲ್ಲದ ಮೃದುತ್ವ
What is enchanting about Smitha’s poetry is her immense belief that poetry is a supreme art which can be a panacea for all the sorrows of life. Infact her poetry is a perfect example for her ability to see ‘world in a grain of sand’ .
ಟಪ್ ಟಪ್ ಬೀಳುವ
ಹನಿ ಸದ್ದಿಗೆ ಎಚ್ಚೆತ್ತುಕೊಂಡ
ಕವಿತೆ ಸಾಲುಗಳೆಲ್ಲಾ ಓಡೋಡಿ
ನಿಲುಕುತ್ತಿವೆ (ಕವನ: ಹನಿ ಹನಿಯುವಾಗ)
Similarly, the line,
ಆಕಾಶದೆತ್ತರ ಕನಸ ಹರವಿದ್ದು
ಮಿತಿಗಳು ಬಾಹ್ಯಕ್ಕಷ್ಟೆ (ಕವನ:ಮಿತಿಗಳಾಚೆ )
Which is so Jane Austene like in assertion. I also like her ‘ ಅಡುಗೆ ಮನೆಯ ಕವಿತೆ’, so optimistic and self contained with the right perspective to transcend limits.
– Jayshree B, Kadri
Amritaraj, Smitha. Tutiyanchinalli ulida kavitegalu . Bangalore: Kannada Sahitya Parishat, 2014.