B G L andre Ivare Nodi!!
Posted February 7, 2007on:
B. G. L. Swamy (Kannada: ಬಿ.ಜಿ.ಎಲ್. ಸ್ವಾಮಿ)(1918-1979) was an eminent Indian botanist and Kannada writer; He served as professor and head of the department of Botany and as Principal of Presidency College, Chennai. He is the son of D. V. Gundappa (Kannada: ಡಿ.ವಿ. ಗುಂಡಪ್ಪ), one of the most respected Indian writers and philosophers. He is been my favorite author ever since I started reading his works and greatly inspired by his teaching techniques in Botany and amount of research he has done in the field of botany. His humorous style of writing has always made me read his books again and again… many many times. “ Panchakalashagopura “ one of his books written as a tribute to his masters who taught him in Central college, Bangalore . There’s a fine description of the college, Lecturers, departments , the campus, and “kannada Sangha” , This book contains details of TS VenkaNNiah, Shri BeLLave, B M Shri, Shri.V.see and DVG etc whom the author was inspired of. Embedded in between these details are, witty and humorous incidents along with the sketches making this book a worthy read.
I Started searching for this authors books as I was fascinated by his style of writing, and the search led me to “TamiLu talegaLa naDuve” (Among Tamil heads), a book of experiences of the author while teaching and stay in Madras. This book contains details and his research work of the histories and literatures of both Kannada and Tamil languages. This book is devoted to examining theories pertaining to languages’ origins (especially the claims that were being made in those days by the Dravidian parties) and mostly debunking them. In his book he has also debunked some of the theories of Tamil historians like Iravatham Mahadevan, Nilkanta Shastri, to name a few. He has raised several questions regarding gaping holes and contradictions in their theories. He humoursly brings out how he was callled “Pee. Chee.Ila.Chami” (BG L swamy) by them.
“Hasiru Honnu” was my next find, Hasiru Honnu (green gold) is a Kendriya sahithya academy winner . This book is all about the Botany project tour experiences with the college students while he taught. His beautiful descriptions of flora and fauna in Western ghats, (Agumbe) Nilgiri range , ooty , Kodaikanal etc gives an complete picture of the treasure our country has. I was able to realise this and appreciate it better when I trekked in these ranges. He has dedicated a discovery of new species(a plant) in Agumbe range in the name of his guru “Irving Bailey”. I wished If only I was born few decades early and got a chance to go on a project tour with him…. Sketches and hurmourous incidents narrated in this book makes you read it again and again.By this time I was addicted to his writing……
I found “Namma hotteayalli DakshiNa america” details of fruits and vegetables which entered recently into our living style from South America and “ Pradhyapakana peetadalli” experiences (both bitter and good) in his teaching career.
“Americadalli nanu “ was one of the first travel experience book that I read. Enjoyed thoroughly reading it ….“Phalashruthi”, “Durgandhopakhyana “, “Kanyasthree (species of Fungi)” were few of his published articles relating to his subject and research.Collegeuranga (novel- made into a movie in the same name), Collegu taranga (Novel), Brihadarnayaka, dairy of a botanist, maisor dairy are few more books that he worte.In all, Swamy’s literary works encompass a large range of topics. A large number of them are related to botany, and succeed in introducing botanical concepts to the layperson. Other works pertain to History, literature, and some are partially autobiographical, dealing with his experiences as professor and principal. Apart from being an acclaimed botanist, BGL Swamy was also widely respected in the history and literary circles.His insightful satires are rightly considered classics of modern Kannada.-Usha B R