more ads
Kamat's Potpourri Amma's Column .
Kamat's PotpourriNew Contents
About the Kamats
Feedback
History of India
Women of India
Faces of India
Indian Mythologies
geographica indicaArts of India
Indian Music
Indian Culture
Indian Paintings
Dig Deep Browse by Tags
Site Map
Historical Timeline
Master Index
Research House of Pictures
Stamps of India
Picture Archive
Natives of India
Temples of India
Kamat Network
Blog Portal

Durable Link to this BlogWednesday, November 15, 2006

Remembering B.G.L. Swamy

B.G.L Swamy (1918-80)

© K.L.Kamat
Kannada writer Prof. B.G.L. Swamy
Kannada writer Prof. B.G.L. Swamy

Son of D.V.G., a doyen among Kannada writers, and Bhagirathamma, Bengaluru Gundappa Lakshminarayanaswamy or Dr. B.G.L. Swamy towed his own line in writing. He topped the list among science writers in Kannada besides expressing his multitalents in drawing, painting, music, research in languages and history. He figures among top-botanists of the world and has about 300 articles in English to his credit. His mother-tongue was Tamil and knew Telugu and Sanskrit very well. But he wrote in Kannada language, the language nearest to his heart and enriched it in no small measure.

B.G.L. Swamy had his education in Bangalore and Mysore. He completed his B.Sc. degree in botany and went to Harward for higher studies. He obtained a Doctorate of Scicence from Mysore University. He joined the Madras Presidency College as a Professor of Botany in 1953. He finally retired as the Principal of that college in 1978.

© K. L. Kamat

Dr. Swamy was a prolific writer. Humor in various forms was his forte. He crafted science or research article in a way that was entertaining and educative at the same time. His works could be divided into four categories, viz those pertaining to botany, other scientific works, historical, travel-stories and satires which reflect social life of our times.

Encouraged by Prof. A.R. Krishnasastry, he started writing as early as 1939-1940 in "Prabuddha Karnataka" which Prof. Shastry was editing. It was a highly claimed quarterly of Mysore University. His hand-book to newly weds and biography of the unborn were unique. His American travelogue. "Americadalli Nanu" (1963) became very popular due to depiction of American Society through Indian eyes. He could give humorous tilt to any situation and though exaggerated many a time, it could be informative and educative.

This travelogue is full of scintillating humour. It had cartoons drawn by the author himself.

Comparison with Kamat

In fact, I had described situations from "Americadalli Nanu" book to my husband, prodding him to write a similar book, to include his own American experiences. Kamat's "Nanoo Americage Hogidde" became an instant hit and saw several editions. Dr. Swamy, who'd never met Kamat earlier, was highly appreciative of the book and had requested the publisher, G.B. Joshi to convey his admiration to the author.

Dr. Swamy and my late husband are often compared for popularizing science-writing in Kannada. Both did the pictures and line-drawings for their books.

Dr. Swamy was a good cartoonist as well.

© K.L.Kamat
The Mushrooming Culture
The Mushrooming Culture
Cartoon Painting by Prof. B.G.L. Swamy

Swamy has five books in his specialization of which "Hasiru-Honnu" (The Green-gold) is the most popular. It won him the Central Sahitya Academy Award. I believe B.G.L. Swamy and D.V.Gundappa are the only son-father pair to get this prestigious honor.

His experiences in Tamilnadu as an academician and administrator are featured in three books 1) "Kaleju-Ranga" 2) "Kaleju-Taranga", and 3) "Tamilu Talegala Naduve". All deal with oblique or caricatured scenes in the educational field as well as society in the state of Tamilnadu. His "Namma Hotteyalli Dakshina America" (South America in our stomach) tells the story of travel of crops like corn, potato, groundnut and chillies which form indispensable part of Indian cuisine but are of South American origin.

Only Photographs of B.G.L. Swamy

© K.L.Kamat
Botanist B.G.L. Swamy
Botanist B.G.L. Swamy
Prof. Swamy studying the Parthenium weed

Dr. Swamy was shy of publicity and wanted quiet time with his pipe, plants, pen and palette. Once his relative and Kamat's writer-friend, S. Diwakar took Kamat to Swamy's residence in Bangalore, where he had settled temporarily. Kamat extensively photographed B.G.L. Swamy on that day in 1979, in many informal moments. Dr. Swamy<

Amma's Column by Jyotsna Kamat

More Entries...

Browse Amma's Column by Tags

1920s - ancient India - avatars - banana - bangalore - buddha - calcutta - christmas - coins - colin mackenzie - colonel - conference ii - conversions - cousin - cows - customs - dalit - democracy - dhols - dr narayan - drums - dung - fables - far east - gandhi - gandhiji - great deluge - guru - hinduism - home library - human body - idolatry - kalpa - karnataka - kautilya - kingdoms - krishna - manners - marriage - new books - new year - nuances - obituary - old temple - patience - personalities - peru - pontiff - postal service - prime source - queen - rao - relevance - religion - revolt - romance - runners - saga - saints - Saints of India - salt satyagraha - science - shaven heads - sher - sri lanka - suresh - terracotta - tradition - trauma - tsunami - tulunadu - unity - universality - women - zen - 11th century - 75th anniversary - alberuni - all india radio - amrita - ancient art - ancient india - ancient indians - animals - anmori - arthashastra - autobiographical notes - b_g_l_swamy - babies - basham - bedas - belief - bengaluru - bhagat singh - Bhagatsingh as seen by Kamaladevi. - bhagavata purana - bhagirath - Bhakti Cult - bharata - bhat - blouse - brahmin - brute - buddha jayanti - card games - cart - caste system - centenary tribute - centennial - chanakya - chariot - cheers - chilli - chinese monk - Christmas - christmas eve - cloud messenger - cockfights - code of manu - colonel colin - complete works - conch shell - cuisine - curry - customs - dasa - demons - dessert - devil worship - dhyan - dikshit - dikshitar - discovery - doldrums - eknath - elephant - empire - epigraphy - fanny - festival foods - festive - forest scene - freedom - gandhi - gandhiji - ganesh - gautama buddha - gayatri mantra - gesture - Goa - gods - gramophone record - grandmother - great men - grinder - guru - happy new year - haste - helping hands - hind swaraj - hind_swaraj - hindu - hindu religious symbols - hindu texts - hinduism - hindus - history conference - humanist - hunger - idolatry - indian civil service - indian names - indians - institution of marriage - interviews - jaina - juggernaut - kamath - kannada - karnataka - kasaragod - kavya - keladi - krishna - laughing buddha - legacy - lotus - loving touch - m n srinivas - mallya - mama - mango season - manu - masters - materialism - medieval india - memories - middle path - midwife - misadventure - moorthy - music tradition - musical - musings - narad - narada - new articles - night life - obituary - offerings - old photo - Om - ornaments - pai - pampa - panchatantra - peacock - peacock dance - peacock dress - pearls - philanthropist - pigeons - poet - poetess - potpourri - prayer - prehistory - promising artist - prostitutes - queen - quilt - rahul - rajasthan - rajendra - ramayana - ramdas - rao - rare volume - robber - roots - rubaiyat of omar khayyam - saints - sane guruji - saraswati - saraswats - science - scorn - sea navigation - sedam - serpent worship - shameful practice - sharana - shastra - shivaji - silver art - sorab - south east asia - south india - subba rao - sunset - swami - swamy - swastika - tara - tea - temple school - temple town - terracotta_town - three books - tiger - titan - tonsure - torave_ramayan - tradition - translator - travelogue - tree of life - tribute - tsunami damage - Tulasidas - tuluva - upanishad - vedanta - vedas - viswanath - Viswanath Kashinath Rajwade - vivekananda - w h sleeman - wall paintings - what is in a name - wilks -

Jyotsna Kamat

Jyotsna Kamat Ph.D. lives in Bangalore.


Introduction


ARCHIVES


Search Amma's Column


More articles by Jyotsna Kamat

 

 

 

Kamat's Potpourri Jyotsna KamatAmma's Column

© 1996-2013 Kamat's Potpourri. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without prior permission. Standard disclaimers apply

Merchandise and Link Suggestions

    Top of Page