A Place Apart Portrays the sense of dislocation and erosion of identity that the Kodava people have felt over the past decades. The magnificent landscape of Kodagu, which achieved mythical status in Kodava culture, forms the backdrop of Bacharanianda P.Appanna’s deceptively simple poems. The lines are layered with history, culture, myth, politics, and what it means to be a Kodava. In a rapidly homogenizing world, this collection of poems gives voice to one of the many small, distinctive societies that is on the brink of irretrievable cultural loss. Written in one of the UNESCO’s listed ‘definitely endangered’ languages of the world, this is the first time the poems have been translated into English.
About the Author:
Bacharanianda P. Appanna is a poet, writer and acknowledged authority on the Kodava language. Author of several collections of poetry and recipient of numerous awards he has served as the President of the Karnataka Kodava Sahitya Academy. Born in 1935 in what was the independent state of Coorg(later Kodagu), a retired lecturer from the Junior College, Somwarpet, he has spend a lifttime preserving and energizing the Kodava language.
His published works are collaborate works with his wife Ranu Appanna, who is also a retired lecturer and writer.
This is the first collection of his poems to be translated into English.
About the Translator:
Kaveri Ponnapa is the author of The Vanishing Kodavas, and extensive cultural study of Kodava people. She studied at Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi, and took a Masters’ Degree in Social Anthropology at SOAS, London. Since 1998, she has been immersed in researching and writing about Kodava culture. In recognition of her work, the Karnataka Kodava Sahitya Academy awarded her the Gaurava Puruskara in 2021.
The world of Kodavas, their unique worldview are captured in these poems. Bacharanianda P.Appanna’s love for his language and culture, his strong desire to preserve it for future generations is palpable in his writing. He has beautifully depicted the intricate relationship between nature and the inner life of the Kodavas. Kaveri Ponnapa’s translation has captured the immediacy and urgency of the voice in these poems.
Vivek Shanbhag, Author of Ghachar Ghochar
These poems are a chance to be an eyewitness and experience the Kodava world. Being a Dravidian language speaker, the rhymes and rhythm in the poems catch the reader’s mind.
Layered with old words from the Kodava language, the English translation mirrors the poet’s thoughts. The transliteration adds a unique opportunity for English language readers to enter into the Kodava language. More of these presentations should be done in our languages.
Dr.Sayeegeetha Hegde, HOD, Department of Humanities, K.S. Hegde Medical Academy, Mangaluru
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