Home-coming for Kuvempu’s son
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Home-coming for Kuvempu’s son

February 14, 2019

Kokilodaya Chaitra from Australia visits Udayaravi in V.V. Mohalla

Mysuru: Rashtrakavi Kuvempu’s second son Kokilodaya Chaitra, who is settled in Australia, visited his father’s house ‘Udayaravi’ recently and spent precious moments recalling his younger days.

Chaitra, as he is fondly called, 78, after completing his engineering from BMS Engineering College, Bengaluru, was working in HMT. He left India when he was posted as the Head of Sales and Service Centre of HMT in Melbourne.

Kuvempu’s son-in-law Dr. K. Chidananda Gowda, former Vice-Chancellor of Kuvempu University, speaking to Star of Mysore here this morning said, “Chaitra visits Mysuru once in two or three years. This time when he came, he wanted to walk up to his aunt’s house on Kalidasa Road which is on the same road as Udayaravi. She is the sister of Kuvempu’s wife and mother of Krupakar (of the famous wildlife photographers Krupakar-Senani duo).”

Chaitra and his wife Marlene, who walked on the road were very disappointed as they found it very difficult to negotiate the stretch with cars and two-wheelers parked on both sides and hardly any footpath. “They told me how much Mysuru has changed. It is very sad that pedestrians are completely ignored and there is no place for them to walk unlike in Melbourne where there is so much of space for pedestrians to walk,” said Dr. Gowda.

Recalling the time when Chaitra had called Kuvempu, when he had an offer from an Australian company, to ask what he should do, Dr. Gowda said that Kuvempu had asked him (Chaitra) to serve the nation by continuing to work for HMT and not be tempted by the four times higher salary that was offered to him.

Chaitra continued to work in HMT till it was shut down and then joined a private firm from where he retired in 2014.

Kuvempu had four children Poornachandra Tejaswi, Kokilodaya Chaitra, Indukala and Tarini. Out of the four, Tejaswi and Indukala have passed away.

“Kuvempu believed in rebirth and always felt that Chaitra was reborn after the passing away of his (Kuvempu’s) father because before that his father would always appear in his dreams and after Chaitra was born the dreams ceased. He has recalled this in his autobiography ‘Nenapina Doniyali’ and also revealed how Chaitra as a one-and-a-half or two-year-old, on reaching Kuppalli had immediately said ‘mane banthu, mane banthu,’ proving his strong faith that  he (Chaitra) must be his father’s reincarnation as otherwise how could a two-year-old who had never seen his grandfather’s place identify the house,” said Dr. Gowda.

Asked how Kuvempu reacted to Chaitra marrying an Australian, Dr. Gowda said that when he (Chaitra) told his father that he was going to marry Marlene, all Kuvempu said was that he had no objection and he was responsible for his decision and all he could do was bless the couple.  

Marlene, who retired as a Registrar working in a University in Melbourne, is very fond of photography. She has won several awards in photography competitions around the world.

“Photography is Marlene’s hobby. This time she visited Mysore Zoo and took pictures. She and Chaitra drove via Kanakapura and visited Somanathapura temple and took photographs there before reaching Mysuru. She also hired an autorickshaw and went to Paduvarahalli, and a few other places and took photographs of women milking the cows,” said Dr. Gowda.

Chaitra and Marlene, who have a daughter Shivani, are in Bengaluru now and will be returning to Melbourne shortly.

4 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Home-coming for Kuvempu’s son”

  1. Strangeworld says:

    Kuvempu forcefully exhorted, cajoled and preached every student to study in Kannada medium up to the university level, and here we see his own son who studied mechanical engineering in BMS engineering college Bangalore in English medium! If our memory serves us right, he emigrated to UK well before the closure of HMT, and then moved to Australia. They are trying to rewrite the facts! What does Chaitra speak at home with his wife and children in Melbourne? Kannada? No, it is Australian version of English! There you see the hypocrisy of Kannada poets and other Kannada literary figures, who mandate every others to study in Kannada medium up to university level, but not following their own advice, when it comes to their own sons. There are others like Kuvempu too.

    • agoodcitizen says:

      I agree with you, look at the way Chaitra is commenting about our city not having foot path! Let him come back to Mysore for good and preach the people how to park the cars or 2 wheelers, rather than blaming our country, just by visiting our country once in 2 years.

  2. Manava says:

    Interesting when Kuvempu as the VC of Mysore University was busy visiting high schools, preaching them to close English medium sections, banishing Sanskrit from the curricula etc.,etc., his students were boasting how their guru Kuvempu loved Kannada and named their sons in flowery Kannada poetic language, and used to cite Kokilodaya Chaitra as an example. Whilst the rumour then was that the lecturers at the BMS College of Engineering were struggling to pronounce his full name, not all of them were Kannadigas ,one could imagine the hilarious struggle the Australians would have had in pronouncing his full name or even the shortened version of his first name or his full second name! May be they simply called him as Kokil!
    One would liked to have been a fly in the walls of Udayaravi, when his wife and Kuvempu were chatting, and Kuvempu resorting to the dreaded English as the common language of communication! Did he and his wife visit Udayaravi at all, when Kuvempu was alive? By the way, nice to have a son-in-law as the VC of the university named after the father-in-law! Typical Mysuru practice shall we say?
    It is horrendous when footpaths started to disappear in Mysuru and that happened in 1970s, when population started galloping fast, and India started to add one Australian population each year. From that it follows that Australia is sparsely populated; today its population is just over 25 million. Melbourne, the second largest city is less densely populated for its area as compared to Mysuru. That perhaps may partly explain why footpaths are still in existence there as well as in other Australian cities. Australia always controlled its immigrant population, and it has been a common practice to marry Aussie girls as a way of establishing permanent residence, free from the hanging threat of deportation. Australian immigration system has been notorious for its treatment of those who enter the country, and until recently, one was not guaranteed permanent residence at any time.
    Australia does not have the same quality of public transport as in Europe; even India has a better railway system, functioning much better than the train system they have there. Long distance trains are very few and poorly run as Aussies take to driving or flying.
    Finally,it is not ” homecoming ” for Kokilodaya Chaitra or Kokil for Aussie readers of the SOM. That term applies only when one is returning permanently to the home country or one’s native city. For Kokil, it is welcome travel to India,escaping from the oppressive Summer this time-Sun mercilessly roasting Aussies alive with temperatures in excess of 40 degree C! Mysuru is relatively cool then! Add to that the water shortages that country is suffering from. Aussies will give their right hand to see something a full KRS dam, brimming with,yes, water!

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