It’s a coincidence that perhaps has more significance than we can imagine; the sudden unexpected death and burial of Kannada Superstar Puneeth Rajkumar and his burial with state honours, witnessed by more than a lakh of his fans – peaceful and grieving – and the celebration of our beloved state’s birth anniversary, a state that was founded on the language that made him a super star – Kannada. If you have not yet made the connection, here it is one followed the other with no time to adjust in between, much like a batter who goes from being a finisher in T20 to opening in a Test Match with no practice games in between. I was witness to much of this jugalbandi as I was in Bengaluru, and even visited the interior to attend a function, where I found this grief combined with fervour across the spectrum. But in the city, the reaction was perhaps mixed, partly because it is a mix of both peoples and emotions. Maybe it is, as it should be.
Even as grief overwhelmed us, we went into celebration mode, as time and tide wait for no man, or woman. It just marches on, occupied in part by fame, shame, name, and meme! and then all of these vanish in a moment. A prime example of course is the ongoing T20 World Cup, where the trolling of the Indian Team and a couple of its players of whom much was expected, was severe and not unexpected, given the nature of the Indian. He loves a hero, expects a lot from him and hates the zero, except when it is added to scam numbers! The hero who adds them behind an integer then often lands up as one of them! So, Beware or Be aware – your choice.
But the state remains and will remain in play… with new actors. The November Kannadiga, who is now a mixture of all that is good in India – because it is India, a nation where diversity is the rule, and homogenizing it is an enterprise called one nation, one, you name it! – is trying hard to remain pure, like Ghee and Milk from our state owned Dairy Supplier! be that as it may, it’s an occasion to recall and remind ourselves that our language is what brings us together under one administration, and it is what will keep us together when times are tough – as Newton put it – when an external force acts on a body, it produces an acceleration (change in velocity) of the body in the direction of the force. How does it do that? Well, for one through communication of emotions and another, by providing an identity. Its gravitas is found when Kannadigas meet outside their state or country and begin to communicate in their language of choice!
It was the continuous efforts by writers, activists and politicians which started during the British rule that helped form the state that we all love for its multi ethnicity and liberal view of the world, and the inclusiveness of even other languages – Tulu and Coorgi or Kodava in particular – on November 1, 1956 with the linguistic reorganization of four districts from Bombay state, three from Hyderabad region, some parts of Old Madras state, Coorg and the state of Mysore. The state got its name much later under the chief ministership of Devaraj Urs in 1973 and that name is what we proudly and fondly (I must add) write at the end of our address lines.
For the November Kannadiga, the occasion is mostly a holiday, which, if it precedes or follows a weekly off is time to rejoice much like May Day – unless you are in the air or out at sea! But for those who are proud of the language and culture that brought them together it is a working day – a day when they rededicate their efforts – political, linguistic, social, and economic to the health and wealth of the state. This they do, by organizing, attending, or watching programs that honour that culture and language, do things that will enhance the status of the state in the eyes of the nation and the world and take a pledge to rededicate themselves to elevating the state to its rightful place (which is right up there with the best) in the pantheon of states. It’s also a day when the state honours its heroes. They are heroes who go beyond a single day in November to make a difference in the lives of their fellow Kannadigas wherever they may be, sometimes with their own resources. They don’t go looking for the award on November 1 but seek to award us with their work every single day of our lives and that is why we salute and reward them on this day when we came together as a state. Its only when all their efforts go into one pot, we will realize how blessed we are to have them in our midst, in our state.
Does politics make a difference in how we view our state? No, I don’t think so; because government is not the state, and the state is not the government – it is much much more. Isn’t the vessel always independent of the liquid in it? it may make a difference in the way we perceive as to how our state is governed and the direction it is headed, but not in our feelings toward our state. This may sound Socratorial to some but is actually a cesarian thought. it’s just that people hope that the state of play in that magnificent building that is representative of the state and its glory (Just Google Karnataka and you will realize this) will never end up being the play of the state against its residents!
In the last couple of days following the unexpected demise of Kannada Superstar Puneeth Rajkumar, debates on how much exercise is enough or not enough replaced Aryan Khan’s Bail, Pakistan’s ISI, China’s expansionism, the world and India’s Commitment to climate Change and other similar debates on Prime-time television. The consensus was that no exercise at all is not good. Lots of Exercise will get you into shape for the coffin and moderate exercise (like moderate alcohol intake- upto two units of alcohol a week) will keep you fit, even if you are out of shape! The idea is to actually tell your friends you Like them and their comments, by walking upto them or their residences, rather than doing it on social media. We are told that is more than enough if you are over forty. But you must have a regular checkup…. at any cost…
Speaking of Death, according to the Christian Liturgical Calendar, yesterday was all Saints Day (The day is to mark all of the saints of the church who are deemed to have risen to heaven after doing good on earth. The day is celebrated by holding a festival to remember the holy saints – a tradition thought to date back to the fourth century. All of the saints are remembered – even those who have no formal holiday named after them like the one we had yesterday!) and today is All Souls Day(also known as the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed and the Day of the Dead, is a day of prayer and remembrance for the dear departed (to a better place than here on earth one presumes), which is observed by Roman Catholics and other Christian denominations annually) Are you a Saint or a Soul? That would be directly proportional to whether you have been more fair than foul!
Man! It’s all happening in November and remember November has just begun. Let’s see it through!
Next up is Diwali! Have a great one; one with fire in the belly more than up in the sky!
This Article is written in a lighter vein. It hopes to bring a smile to your face, and you must not ascribe motives to its contents. There is no connection to events and characters in real life and if perchance you find a connect with any such real-life event or character, rest assured its purely coincidental.
Image by digital designer