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A conversation to commemorate the legacy of a cultural icon, Girish Karnad, as also shared in his memoir, This Life At Play. The speakers will discuss the life-shaping experiences of this towering genius, which offers a unique window into the India in which he lived and worked.
In collaboration with Indian Cultural Forum
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.
Padmavati Rao is an actor, writer, director, translator and poet. She speaks many languages but prefers writing in Hindi. As an actor she has worked in Kannada, Hindi, English, Marathi and now even Malayalam and Tamil cinema(recent release Maara). The Kannada films she has worked in include the still popular Geetha. Her forays into Hindi cinema include blockbuster films such as Pardes, TE3N (pronounced Teen as in three in Hindi), Padmaavat, Raat Akeli Hai and Tanhaji. Her most recent release is a film titled Miniaturist of Jungadh which is currently showing at international festivals. Her solo theatre show titled Kitchen Poems was performed at the prestigious Theatre Olympics in 2018. She has translated five plays of Girish Karnad and one of Mahesh Dattani into Hindi. Padmavati is also a filmmaker, storyteller, puppet maker and puppeteer. The short films directed by her include Under One Sky made for Akshaya Patra Foundation and I Can Do It, a film for children. Her film titled Women Fast Forward on Video SEWA, was seen in 91 countries.
Trained in process work as a facilitator Padmavati is on the Governing Council of Foundation for Human Learning and Growth – Aastha, she combines process work and theatre in her work with children and adults. She has authored textbooks on Life Skills Through Theatre and trains teachers to use theatre in the classroom and has worked with teachers of private and government schools from around the country, in Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, the Lakshadweep islands and communities in the Himalayas too. She hopes to make theatre more accessible to people of varied age groups across geographies. In the last eight years her focus is on villages just outside Bangalore for a start, where she endeavours to do and promote natural farming, arts and crafts. Her TEDx talk recently graduated to becoming a TED talk on the subject of including all that is immeasurable in life, especially in schools. Her interest in natural farming, arts and crafts drives her to stay connected and build bridges between people and cultures.
Padmavati began her career in films with the film Ondanondu Kaaladalli directed by Girish Karnad in 1977-78. In the early eighties she worked with him as an assistant director on the television series Manas about mental disorders. During her stint as assistant director and dubbing director of Malgudi Days, directed by Shankar Nag in the mid and late nineteen eighties she had the opportunity of working with him on Swami and Friends and an episode titled The Watchman. In 1990 she acted in the play Nagamandala written by him, also directed by Shankar Nag. In 1991 she worked as dialogue writer and assistant director on the film Cheluvi based on the folk tale titled The Flowering Tree. In the mid nineties she translated the dialogue for the series Kaanoor Ki Thakurayin.
She has translated four plays of Girish Karnad namely, Heap Of broken Images- Bikre Bimb, Flowers – Pushp, Wedding Album-Shaadi Ka Album, and Boiled Beans On Toast- Uble Daane On Toast, which have been published recently. Her most recent translation of Karnad’s last play Crossing To Talikota is Rakshas Tangadi.
Raghu Karnad is a writer and journalist and the author of Farthest Field: A Story of India’s Second World War which was awarded the Windham–Campbell Literature Prize for Non-Fiction. He is part of the founding team of The Wire. His writings have appeared in the National Geographic, The New York Times, n+1, the Caravan and the Wire.
Ramakant G Joshi
Dr. Ramakant G Joshi is an editor, writer and publisher with the fabled Manohara Granthmala, Dharwad which was founded by his father, playwright GB Joshi in 1933.
Dr. Joshi has a Bachelor’s degree from Karnataka University, Dharwad and a Masters degree from Sardar Patel University, Gujarat. His PhD thesis was on ‘The Use of Myth in Indian Drama‘.
He taught English in Kittel College, Dharwad before retiring in 1994. Through his teaching career he managed the publishing house in parallel from 1960 until 1994, after which he took over as editor and publisher.
He has been at the heart of the cultural and literary life of Dharwad since the 60s and continues to translate, edit and publish articles, collections of poetry and prose along with writing extensively on the history of publishing in India.
Srinath Perur is the author of the travelogue If It’s Monday It Must Be Madurai and English translator of Ghachar Ghochar. He also writes for various publication on science, travel and books.
Githa Hariharan has written novels, short fiction and essays over the last three decades. Her highly acclaimed work includes The Thousand Faces of Night which won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book in 1993, the short story collection The Art of Dying, the novels The Ghosts of Vasu Master, When Dreams Travel, In Times of Siege and Fugitive Histories, and a collection of essays entitled Almost Home: Cities and Other Places. She has also written children’s stories; and edited a collection of translated short fiction, A Southern Harvest, the essay collection From India to Palestine: Essays in Solidarity and co-edited Battling for India: A Citizen’s Reader.
Her most recent novel is I Have Become the Tide, now available in paperback. Also in Malayalam, and next in Marathi, Kannada and Tamil.
Hariharan has, over the years, been a cultural commentator through her essays, lectures and activism. In 1995, Hariharan challenged the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act as discriminatory against women. The case, Githa Hariharan and Another vs. Reserve Bank of India and Another, led to a landmark Supreme Court judgment in 1999 on guardianship.