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:: Sunday, April 08, 2007 ::

Remembering Poornachandra Tejaswi

Reading write-ups spanning several pages in a few Kannada Dailies on the way to work in the morning, I was almost fighting tears. Tejaswi's demise was something I was not prepared for. He was someone I looked forward to for inspiration in many ways. I hoped to continue soaking in his works for many more years to come; but he left us suddenly.

When I first heard that Tejaswi is no more, my emotions were more selfish than anything else. Does it mean I can't look forward to reading more of his work? Does it mean Mayaloka-2 will never come out, and we will not get to read more of those amazing stories where he makes reading on most complex secrets of nature no more than a sequence of comical experience? Would we not get to read amazing novels that expose the realities of life? It was not easy to accept that he is no more.

Poornachandra Tejaswi
Image from Vijaya Karnataka

My first exposure to Tejaswi happened with Karwalo. It must be more than fifteen years since. Reading Karwalo was like a world changing event. Suddenly I wanted to be in those magnificent forest ranges. Suddenly I wanted to go on an expedition looking for his lizard. I wanted to leave everything and go on a long expedition on some strange and amazing mission that words can't describe. I was an instant fan of the writer, who, I did not even know is the son of Kuvempu.

His novels and other works that I read later continued to have similar impact. The way he mixed stories of his experience with complex rules of nature made me yearn to be in his shoes. When he wrote of the Pond Heron that tried to befriend him, or described the fight of Drongos with a snake, it felt as if I was there with him watching it all happen. When he wrote about his discovery or origins of a stream that runs behind his house, and eventually unfolded the science behind the origin of all those rivers that fed our plains, it was a revelation and amazement. As he wrote about these things, he carried his reader everywhere he went.

There were many things that Tejaswi taught me, and inspired me into. I became crazy on bird photography just by reading his experiences and looking at his pictures. He taught me to look at the obvious with an awe, and go beyond what eyes can reveal. He was an inspiration for me to travel and observe. There are many more things he would have inspired in me that I may not even know about.

I have never seen or met Tejaswi, but his demise makes me feel as though I have lost an old friend with whom I shared many things, and spent many hours chatting on varied topics. I wish he lived on for many years telling us the fascinating tales from Mudigere. I miss Tejaswi as though an old buddy suddenly left me. May his soul rest in peace.

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