Ananthamurthy can come before Bhyrappa only in the Telephone Directory. Everywhere else, It is Bhyrappa first, and somewhere down the line can Ananthamurthy be seen.
During the Ramayana discourse by Sri KS Narayanacharya, the scholar kept mentioning about Aavarana. He kept saying it was worth a read. But I did not heed his advice till the penultimate day of the 22 day-lecture series.
When I was busy buying some books written by the scholar popularly known as Ramayanacharya, the salesman suggested me to read ‘Aavarana’. After refusing it (reason being I wanted a Paperback and not a Hardcover), I was forced to accept it for FREE for having bought a chunk of KS Narayanacharya’s books. That is how I procured the book, considered today THE No.1 bestseller among Kannada books.
Aavarana, the new novel of S.L.Byrappa, one of the most popular writers in Kannada, is his second historical novel. It is one of the best literary works connected with the history that I have read. The novel adopts a new technique to achieve twin objectives – explore history and expose historians, who are distorting it. The lucid, courageous novel is worth reading for its theme and relevance – if not for its high literary value.
The conflict of truth v/s untruth is a topic of interest for Bhyrappa. He has explored the topic in his previous novel Sakshi at an individual level. Aavarana explores the same problem at the global level. The novel approaches the subject boldly – without yielding to passions. It provides pointers to 104 references from 51 authors – a testimony to the seriousness with which the author has approached the subject. The necessity of the list emerges from the storyline and is not imposed by the author. The list of books that appear in the novel ranges from Babur Nama to Naipaul to Artha Shastra of Kautilya. The novel, in its attempt to discuss the root cause of intolerance, identifies the present day attitudes that are abetting intolerance. For this reason, the subject of the novel is also contemporary.
Within a couple of months of its release, the book was in its Fourth edition. This shows that people are no longer ready to believe the distorted history about the past based on the assumptions of today’s historians. With the demand for the book growing every minute, book lovers have busted the commonly believed myth that “there does not exist a trend of buying and reading Kannada books in Karnataka”. Any good literary work which touches the heart easily sells itself. Readers have taken up the job of advertising and promoting Aavarana, not to mention UR Ananthamurthy’s remarks about SLB and Aavarana that boosted the sales further.
Aavarana is really worth keeping a personal copy and reading it. To quote author NS Rajaram: Of one thing we may be certain: Aavarana will be “cussed and discussed” for a long time to come, to borrow a phrase from Lincoln.
- AvaraNa by SL Bhyrappa: an eye-opener?
- December Stud’s Take
- Parijata’s Take
- Nilagriva’s Take
- Gist of U.R.Ananthamurthy’s speech wrt S.L.Bhyrappa’s ‘Aavarana’
- Sunday Slug Fest: Anantha Murthy and Bhyrappa
- S.L. Bhyrappa versus U.R. Anantha Murthy
- ‘URA should stop preaching, start writing’
- URA more dangerous than SLB
- URA-SLB Debate
- Aavarana and Da Vinci Code: A comparitive study
- CHURUMURI EXCLUSIVE: S.L. BHYRAPPA
- S.L. Bhyrappa on Aavarana: the Kannada version
- Masks of untruth: The Hindu review