‘Poetry is a way of life’
— A son’s touching tribute
tolitterateur Gunturu Seshendra Sharma
Ten years passed away. But the scene of Funeral is still fresh like a red wound in my eyes and tormenting my heart. When funeral procession moves on, some people throw coins. Some of them walking along the procession pick those very coins from behind. It pains me that these coin pickers assumed leadership of father’s last rites. But in today’s society they are ruling the roost. Writing on the wall is, Not Might, Crime is right.
His literary works can broadly be divided into poetry and prose writings on poetics. He wrote in all forms – song, prose, poetry. Five stories and a drama, one compilation of science articles (Viswa Vivechana), excepting these all his writings fall under the category of literary criticism.
From Shodasi:, Secrets of the Ramayana, Swarna Hamsa to Kavisena Manifesto, Kalarekha (Essays of Comparative Literature) reader finds an overpowering undercurrent of inquiry into origins of poetry. . This is found directly and indirectly in all his works. Even in Shodasi and Swarna Hamsa, research works on ancient Sanskrit literature, in introductory chapters he discusses about birth of poetry and related aspects of poetry.
This inquiry all pervasive, like the main current of thought in his “My Note book : Arc of Blook ( Naa Diary :Raktha Rekha) “ and Kavisena Manifesto is the climax of his inquiry into poetics,one and the only work on poetics in modern literature an encyclopedia of World poetics of all times.
He concludes that poetry is unique expression of feeling and wonder of meaning (Artha Chamatkara, Bhava chanatkara). He contended that poetry is not playing with words or gimmicks of language. He revealed the hall mark of poetry. He declared, feeling and literary conscious are like inhalation and exhalation to a genuine poet. In Kavisena Manifesto, he asserted that, “Poetry is a temple. Even God needs to step into it clean.” He rejected all the age old established concepts ,theories and assertions and poets through research. He observed that the concepts of Vishnu and Incarnation were non existant when Valmiki was writing the Ramayana. He also revealed that Srinadha ignored the core writing of Sriharsha’s Naishadham and translated it as Sringara Naishadha. Srinadha could not grasp the secrets of Mantra, Yoga and Vedanta sciences hidden in that Kavya .
He opined that in the poetic works of of Veerasaiwa poets there are only methods of shiavaite puja and no poetry. Commenting on Srirangam Narayanababu, he declared that his poetry is beyond literature, a tragic tale, a great civilization buried under the debris of treachery called Telugu literature. He viewed him as a legend lurking like a tear in the eyes of a minority. He criticised the Congress politics during the unrest following the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi.
Condemning the American War in Gulf, calling it third world war, he reproached American Imperialism. He wrote articles on Saddham Hussain –‘Support Saddam’ asking the third world countries to be on his side. He recorded all his findings of research, study and exploration without any fear Satya vaadi Loka Satruhu.
We find Defiance as a powerful undercurrent in all his works. He declared that poetry is a way of life and not a source of livelihood. In a metrical poem written in 1952 , he gave a call “ Daliths and the oppressed unfold your imagination , join your shoulders and shout in one voice…..” (Dalitha Shraamika Jeevulaara oohaa bhujaargalamul vippina viswamoorthiai Shankhaaraavamum jeyudo Dalitha Shraamika jeevulaara Bhuvana dwaarammu bhedillagan…”) Again in 1972 , in his first prose poetry anthology “Sesha Jyotsna “ see these lines “ tearing away the iron curtains that divide the human beings wearing the veiling voices of the oppressed people of the world as swords in his scabbard… “
In His works: Efforts have been made in the last ten years to bring his books in a systematic manner. His stories and drama were brought out as one volume, Ruthughosha and Mandey Suryudu were line brought out as a single volume to mark his first death anniversary. Later, Sahitya Kaumudi, Narudu Nakshatralu, Kala Rekha, Viswa Vivechana prose works were published. All the important works are available. With the courtesy of popular film actor Pavan Kalyan, Adhunika Mahabharatam( His complete prose poetry ), and with courtesy of film director Trivikram Srinivasa Janavamsam are available in almost every book shop. Shodasi, Swarnahamsa which brought him recognition and reverence as a rare researcher and scholar are translated into English and are available.
In today’s society literature has lost its place and significance. Literature is suffering from the eclipse of ruthless commercial life. Authors in today’s literature are divided into various groups on lines of different oppressed and exploited sections in the society. Truck loads of beautifully printed books are flooding the market every day. The people, for whom these writers are writing don’t even know about these works. These poets and authors don’t even have the awareness and field level study of the classes for who they are writing. They don’t even have the intention of doing it.
A person who doesn’t know standard Telugu, prosody, Telugu metrical poetry claims himself to be an ardent follower of Vishwanadha Satyanarayana. Another one is revolutionary poet. It is said that he is favourite poet of those who are engaged in armed struggle in the forests. The ruling classes are eliminating the revolutionaries in cold blood. Putting the intellectuals down with an iron hand who protest against such killings. Then how is this revolutionary poet getting ruling Governments’ awards and being nominated for government posts? This is a secret. The above mentioned Viswanatha’s admirer and this revolutionary poet are Siamese twins and courtiers of a Razaakaar Personality who has no interest in literature. This is another secret. In fact there is no secret at all. In today’s appalling literary scenario these chaps are unabashed and unscrupulous con men with them not might, pyravee is right.
Soon after his departure, several condolence meetings were held by different organisations. In some of these meetings some people claimed that they rewrote father’s controversial Novel “Kamotsav “ one poetaster and pseudo litterateur lifts chapter after chapter from father’s Kavisena manifesto , changes titles and gets them printed with his name in literary page of a telugu daily . This trend is a death blow to original writing and these writers do not condemn it. As father rightly said in Kavisena Manifesto in chapter “ The main problem in today’s literary criticism “ he says “ in fact present day Telugu literature proves that it is difficult for a man to become a MAN ( Admee ko bhee mayassar nahee Insan Honaa ) What we see in literature is not degradation of literature but it is moral degradation”. Today we have 10 years of distance between him and us. But to literary personalities and poetry-lovers he has become that very close. Scores literary personalities who have great admiration for him delivered memorial lectures analysing his literary accomplishments. They presented and published seminar papers. Particluarly the role and contribution of Osmania University and Kakatiya University and Poets and critics of Karim Nagar and Warangal is invaluable.
2027 happens to be father’s centenary year. I can’t imagine how the society and literature would be. My time and energy are getting wasted in unending scuffle with wicked snakes and blood thirty jackals all around. I will not be alive to see that day. Hence I am completing my works as early as possible. I have visited all the districts in Rayalaseema, Telangana and Andhra and visited all the district libraries and distributed father’s works in 2015-16.
All the important books are available today. These books are reprinted with the hope that they would be useful to researchers and people interested in literature in the future generations. My aim is to gather a minimum fund to mark his centenary and formally entrust it to a credible and responsible person or organisation.
He yelled “I might leave. I Might not return. But you can’t escape from my memories. In the sky of this country they shall sing as birds, envelop you as rays.” He was anguished that “is this the fruit of mother earth revolving around the sun so many ages? “ I now see history facing this question “ “I am a refugee here , fragrance of stars is calling me “saying this father took leave of this mundane earth .
Seshendra : Visionary Poet of the Millennium
— Saatyaki s/o Gunturu Seshendra Sharma
link : https://telanganatoday.com/poetry-way-life-sons-touching-tribute-litterateur-gunturu-seshendra-sharma