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Translator & Author
Filmmaker & Educator

Date & Time

Fri, 8 Jul 2022


Bangalore International Centre
7, 4th Main Road, Domlur II Stage
Bangalore, Karnataka 560071 India

Girish talks more about his dramatic and literary influences which range from classical Sanskrit plays like Mricchakatika to such avant-garde practitioners as Jerzy Grotowski.

About the Series:

In June 2019, a few days before his death, Girish Karnad and Arshia Sattar had extensive conversations about his work, his life, and the concerns that had occupied him over almost sixty years as a writer and a public intellectual. This podcast is a distillation of those freewheeling conversations, a short intellectual biography to celebrate the life and work of one of India’s finest playwrights and thinkers. In this series, we hear Girish talk about Kannada literature, existentialism, making of modern Indian theatre, the art and craft of playwriting, and his life as a public intellectual.

The series is hosted by Arshia Sattar and Anmol Tikoo, with special guests such as Vivek Shanbhag, Shanta Gokhale, and Sunil Shanbag, who provide the context for Girish’s comments. Each episode also contains scenes from his plays read by members of Bangalore’s theatre community. The readings show us how closely his philosophical and political ideas were to what he wrote. They also provide an opportunity for audiences, particularly those who might not be already familiar with Girish’s works, to experience the power of his work.

The title for the series is taken from the song in Hayavadana (Kannada title), a song which has been musically recreated for us by Pallavi MD and Konarak Reddy. Apart from the fact that Neerina Mele Chitra remains one of Kannada’s most beloved ranga geethe, we found it to be particularly evocative as we remember a man who profoundly impacted India’s cultural arena in the last half of the 20th century. This podcast series, we hope, will bear witness to Girish Karnad, a man who gave us so much to remember, but also so much to take forward.

Show Notes 

  1. Girish Karnad’s 2002 World Theatre Day Message. (02:04)
  2. TaaLa MaddaLe, a discursive branch of Yakshagana theatre. (02:37)
  3. Utsav (1984). (03:56)
  4. Girish Karnad on Vijay Tendulkar: Video and Essay (12:00)
  5. A lecture by Girish Karnad on the structure of a play. (26:29)
  6. Girish Karnad’s time with The Madras Players. (27:34)
  7. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957). (29:27)
  8. An interview with Girish Karnad by Ahmed Rizvi and Nandan Nilekani about acting in cinema. (31:52)
  9. Nishant (1975). (32:18)
  10. Girish Karnad on Pandit Ravi Shankar. (32:18)

Supported by Nilekani Philanthropies


Arshia Sattar

Translator & Author

Arshia Sattar obtained her PhD in South Asian Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago in 1990. Her abridged translations of the epic Sanskrit texts, Kathasaritsagara and Valmiki’s Ramayana have both been published by Penguin Books. She has also written books for children and her literary reviews appear regularly in various Indian and international publications.

Anmol Tikoo

Filmmaker & Educator

Anmol Tikoo is a filmmaker and educator, most recently at the United World College, where he taught philosophy and film. He has worked on Indian and international film projects and written for various media outlets.