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A biographical sketch of T P Kailasam

1884 - 1946

 

Kailasam is without doubt , Kannada's greatest playwright.He touched the hearts of the people with their own language without resorting to grammatical complications.His wit and wisdom are unparalleled.The humor in his dramas were pure and with full of stuff.Educated in London as a scholar in geology , the genius he was , he quickly grasped the music on the English stage and beautifully adapted them to Kannada.Tipparahalli and Kolikeranga are great examples.Among is less known achievements is that he was the first Indian to get the fellowship of   "The Royal Geological Society" in London.

          Perhaps it was Kailasam, the giant among our writers, who earned the epithet "Kannadakkobbane Kailasam". Couched in the great man's humour was a genuine concern for social issues, and it is a tribute to his insight that these issues remain relevant to this day. It will not be an exaggeration to say that Kailasam brought dignity to humour literature in Kannada. How he used it as instrument to make fun of the ills of society is remarkable. His plays such as Home Rule, Ammavara Ganda, Tollu Gatti, Poli Kitti, and so on, which even today are enacted by amateur clubs, are those which narrate situations in a family, its surroundings, and the society of his times.

       However, the characters Kailasam created continue to be relevant even in the 21st Century, earning empathy with the common man. His moral message is invariably to set right unhealthy situations in society.

        For those who have read Kailasam, his English plays such as Purpose and Karna and his ability to write poems like Kolike Ranga, a rejoinder to the English poem Constantinople, are a constant surprise. He localised alien situations with his typical exuberance, thereby exhibiting his reverence to the land and its language. Kailasam, also laughed at himself, giving a nice, self-deprecatory twist to his name, calling himself "Typical Ass I Am". No wonder his extraordinary talent earned him a coveted place in the world of Kannada literature.