Wednesday, December 25, 2013

GSS - A Tribute

G. S. Shivarudrappa ( 1926 - 2013 ) : A Salutation.

I joined Bangalore University as teacher in the year 1977 and after a stint of residence at SBM Colony, I moved to BSK II Stage and for number of years I used to travel in the University Bus to BU. While waiting for the Bus and inside it a constant companion was the revered GSS. After knowing that I am from Sagar, "Oh, you are a Sagarian, most creative people are they, look at K V Subbanna and what he has built" he said and our relationship truly began since then. His readiness to relate to people and resources he has in bringing cordiality and deep affection into it is indeed very endearing. A renowned poet that he was and yet he put me at ease with his equally deep interest in theories of poetics and aesthetics as any discussion of academic nature was my forte. In fact, he did ask for any book in Psychology on Emotions as Bhava/ಭಾವ  is a central theme in poetry as well. Although I told him that Psychologist have hardly worked on those aspect and the emotions they study has very little to do with the Bhava that poetry refers to, yet I gave him a book on Psychology of Emotions which he promptly went through and returned in just about a week. What is more, as late as just a few years before his death he once asked me over the phone about a 'problem' child of his friend and how to go about it.That showed his genuine interest in life and living.

I was an officer in charge of students affairs of the University for number of years and one of its activity is to conduct student election as Returning Officer for election to Student Association and coordinate their activity within each Department of Studies. The Department used to get half of the money student has paid as Association/Student activities Fee for their cultural activities within each Department and it was my duty to coordinate the disbursement. As the money was given to student leaders to conduct the activity who generally has least knowledge of accounting, neither the Heads of the Department or even the Auditors would take it seriously or make an issue of getting the accounts. But not so is our GSS. Promptly, every year, at the end he was the first and probably the last person to send  me the detailed accounts of the money spent on the student activity with all the due vouchers and statements; obviously he was insisting students to get them, thereby instilling in them the responsibility to be answerable to the Authorities. He was a disciplinarian par excellence.

I, as President of Federation of University and College Teachers of Karnataka, as well as President of Bangalore University Teachers Association, faced with severe anomalies and pressing demands of the welfare and development of teachers, used to conduct several General Body Meetings and Public Demonstration. Professor GSS, being such a senior faculty in the University and a highly reputed/regarded poet did not feel below his dignity to participate in such meetings, agitations and demonstrations. In fact, he used to be one among the front benchers in it. This gesture not only encouraged and motivated  us to move forward but also lend credence and credibility to the cause we were upholding.

He administered his Department, as its Head/Director for number of years with a very high calibre of academic deliberations some of which are truly trend setting as for instance the three day or sometimes even more days of annual national seminars held regularly. I was amazed at one such seminars: it was a three day seminar on Kannada drama; whole day there used to be an advanced discussion and presentation with giants in the field like B V Karanth, Girish Karnad, Chandrashekar Kambar, P. Lankesh and so on and in each evening a staging of play which is even to day a path breaking events in staging drama; the three plays were: Kambar's Jokumaraswamy, Lankesh's Oedipus and Samkranti where we could see the fantastic stagecraft and great acting by Karanth, Karnard and others.

 I found GSS always to be a person who is honest and modest in demeanor, clear and definitive in his remarks, with genuine interest in people and their growth. Truly, we and the Kannada Literature and Culture, miss him most.

Dr. G S Shivarudrappa was conferred the title of National Poet/Rashtra Kavi. He was Professor of Kannada and Director of Institute of Kannada Studies at Bangalore University prior to his retirement from service.


Thimmappa M.S. said...

Salutations to a great poet

padmanabha rao said...

A very realistic & touching Obituary of a great poet, written from an intimate person in & outside BU. A readable write up for all. Thank you.

Thimmappa M.S. said...

Thank you for your appreciation

shubha madhusudhan said...

thanks for sharing sir. deeply moved