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Vikas Kamat
 Vikas Kamat is a programmer- entrepreneur living in Birmingham AL. This blog is a complex mix of Indian culture, life in southern USA, computer sciences, and sports. Opinions are his own.
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Karanth's Mudida Yuddha (The End of War) Durable Link to this BLOG
Karanth's Mudida Yuddha (The End of War)

I recently read Shiavaram Karanth's Mugida Yuddha --literally translated as End of the War.

Karanth says he wrote the novel in twelve days. It took me twelve days to read it -- to digest the figures of speech, local accents and feel the emotions the characters were going through. I must say that my attitude to life will be different from now on -- it brought a new appreciation for growing up after the World Wars and increased my desire to live a life of simple pleasures.

It is a story of  Achyut, a brahmin boy torn apart by his ideology, his youthful discretion of the past and the poverty of India. Wonderfully simple and wonderfully told, it depicts the life and struggles of common people in pre-independent India. Even though the War refers to the World War II, the war the author narrates is life itself  -- interwoven with Yakshagana, Indian Educational System and mostly circumstantial poverty.

I told my mother that it is really hard for me to believe that much poverty existed in India during the British Rule -- although we can see that repeating theme in period novels and movies -- and she said that her own life experiences only confirm what Karanth has written in Mugida Yuddha (and in his other works; my mother is very fond of "Bettada Jeeva" which I quit reading after getting depressed by reading it).

Mugida Yuddha is a sad story because it ends in a tragic way but Karanth celebrates numerous triumphs of Indian ethos. The friendship between a brahmin, a Jain and a Muslim  for instance is one of them. The character of Seete (Achyut's elder sister), Rukmini (Achyut's wife), and Narayanrao remain in one's mind as stellar depictions of Indian virtues. Even Achyut himself remains true to his beliefs and true to his times till the end.

Mugida Yuddha by Shiavaram Karanth, 1952

© Vikas Kamat

This is NOT the cover of the book, but I thought that this photograph by my father of a bare feted man is representative of the struggle contained in the book.

(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)First Written: Saturday, January 8, 2011
Last Modified: 1/8/2011 5:39:20 PM

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