Kannada Novelist Triveni’s house in city to be a Museum
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Kannada Novelist Triveni’s house in city to be a Museum

Walk near the Chamarajapuram Railway Station Road and ask anyone for the legendary Kannada novelist Triveni’s house, they will point at the 200-year-old house that will soon be converted into a museum. The house — Door No. 1152, “Triveni S.N. Shankar” — is located opposite the Tennis Club on Chamarajapuram Railway Station Road.

Triveni occupies a unique position in the Kannada literary scene and her books are still widely read. She is the most favoured among Kannada writers and the novels she wrote in the sixties were revolutionary, unique, gripping and hold good even today. At times, compared to English novelist Jane Austen, not many other writers have come on par with Triveni’s writing skills and story lines.

Triveni (Anasuya Shankar) after she won a gold medal from the University of Mysore.

Her style was easy to read. She usually dealt with complex psychological problems in the lives of ordinary people. Her stories were always interesting and were based on human values such as kindness  and charity. She wrote about the suffering of the people. Her notable works include ‘Sharapanjara’, ‘Hoovu Hannu’, ‘Belli Moda’, ‘Doorada Betta’ and ‘Hannele Chiguridaga’.

Born as Anasuya at Chamarajapuram on Sept. 1, 1928, under the pen name “Triveni”, she authored 21 novels and three collections of short stories and many of her novels were successfully adapted into films. Who can forget Puttanna Kanagal’s adaptation of ‘Sharapanjara’ where the then leading actress Kalpana earned accolades for her portrayal of a mentally challenged person?

Many of Triveni’s  works have been translated into English, Telugu and Malayalam. Some of her novels have also been turned into serials. Her small stories collection ‘Samasyeya Magu’ got “Devaraja Bahadur Prize” in 1950. Her novel ‘Avala Mane’ earned Karnataka Sahitya Academy Award in 1960.

DOOR NO. 1152: Triveni’s house on Chamarajapuram Railway Station Road in Mysuru.

Anasuya was born to B.M. Krishnaswamy and Thangamma couple. She was also called Bhagirathi. She graduated with a gold medal in her Bachelor of Arts degree from Maharani’s Arts College in Mysore. She later married an English professor, S. N. Shankar.

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Triveni died on July 29, 1963 due to asthma.

In a bid to preserve her memory and give the many Kannada litterateurs a closer glimpse at her life, Triveni’s family has decided to transform her house in Chamarajapuram into a museum. According to Triveni’s daughter Meera Shankar, who was working for an airline company in the US, the 200-year-old house will be converted into a museum, keeping its heritage structure.

Presently, Meera is settled in Sanjaynagar, Bengaluru and has two children. “I visit Mysuru frequently and my daughter is pursuing Master’s in Psychology in the US. I want the museum to be a place where my mother’s world is stored,” she told Star of Mysore.

The museum will house manuscripts of many of Triveni’s stories and novels, her personal diary, photographs, saris and the Siddegowda Gold Medal awarded by the University of Mysore, her watches and dressing table.

Triveni’s house on Chamarajapuram Railway Station Road in Mysuru.

“I got an idea of converting my mother’s house into a heritage museum after I visited William Shakespeare’s house in Henley Street, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England. Even I wanted to keep my mother’s legacy alive and enable visitors to relive some of the moments of her life. I also want to keep the literary works of William Shakespeare and O. Henry as they inspired my mother to write,” Meera said.

Mentioning that the other aim of the museum is to inspire other women writers, Meera said that Triveni lived in that house in Chamarajapuram and the walls were a witness to her growth as a litterateur before she could turn 35.

Triveni’s daughter Meera.

“I have even visited the houses of Rashtrakavi Kuvempu (in Shivamogga), Shivarama Karanth (in Puttur), D.R. Bendre (in Dharwad) and R.K. Narayan (in Mysuru). All of the houses have been converted into museums and I want my mother’s house to stand out too,” she said.

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Triveni was born into a family with rich literary heritage. The renowned playwright and translator B.M. Srikantaiah was her uncle while noted novelists Vaani of Shubamangala- fame and Aryamba Pattabhi, were cousins. “In addition to my mother’s memorabilia, I am also thinking of displaying the works and belongings of B.M. Srikantaiah, Vaani and Pattabhi,” Meera explained.

Triveni Shankar Trust will be started for the museum purpose and the family has already consulted the Department of Archaeology, Heritage and Museums for technical support. “The Department has assured of support and even the Kannada Sahitya Parishat has evinced keen interest in the museum,” Meera added.

April 2, 2017

17 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Kannada Novelist Triveni’s house in city to be a Museum”

  1. Sudarshan Chinnaswamy says:

    We wish Novelist Triveni Museum shall become a reality as soon as possible. She deserves a place in the hearts of all readers, present and future!!.
    We appreciate the great effort initiated by Meera. Wish other literary figures too get the due recognition in near future!!.

  2. The reader says:

    Good idea. S N Shankar was my English lecturer, in the PUC. I saw little Meera on a bicycle, about 3/4 years old, seated on the front bar of Shankar’s bicycle with her father holding his bicycle. He was watching us, the audience, coming out of the matinee show at the Padma Theatre. It was the first day of the film at Padma Theatre. Shankar looked sad with memories of his talented wife as the show attracted a house full audience. I had a brief few words of sympathy with him.

  3. Deepa Rao says:

    Correction:

    Vaani was her aunty and Aryamba Pattabi is her sister.

  4. Nagaraj Chandrasekhariah says:

    I commend the efforts of Ms Meera Shankar to convert the house that her mother lived into a museum . That shows her large heartedness to allow the readers of her mother’s novels and her admirers to share the pride of Triveni ‘s works. It also speaks volumes about Ms Meera Shankar ‘s vision to ensure that the contemporary generation does not miss to visit the museum and be inspired ! Any body else in these days of encashing anancestoral property would have sold the house or entered into a joint venture,burying the legacy of a legendary writer in brick and mortar !
    I hope that the department of archeology and other government agencies will respond to the noble initiative of Ms Meera Shankar and make the her dream a reality soon!

  5. SP Bhaskar says:

    As an alumnus of Sharada Vilas College, I also remember Prof. S N Shankar. He was a kind man, a thorough gentleman, and he taught English very well. He had a keen interest in tennis. He was always available to meet with students and answer their questions. Please honor him also by keeping some of his memorabilia in the Triveni Museum. Maatru Devo Bhava. Pitru Devo Bhava.

    • Meera says:

      Absolutely! And not just because he was the husband of Smt. Triveni, but because he was a writer himself, has translated countless plays and short stories from English to Kannada (Shakespeare, old fairy tales, O.Henry short stories, etc.) Many of them have been broadcast in AIR Mysore. He has also translated all of Smt. Triveni’s novels to English and I am working on getting them published.
      At this point, before sending out to publishers, I would welcome any translation/ editing support and help from anyone who is great with English/ Kannada to edit/ check/ correct the English version of Smt. Triveni’s novels that Shri. S. N. Shankar has translated.
      I may be contacted at [email protected] or at https://www.facebook.com/trivenikannada/
      Thank you.

    • Meera says:

      Absolutely! And not just because he was the husband of Smt. Triveni, but because he was a writer himself, has translated countless plays and short stories from English to Kannada (Shakespeare, old fairy tales, O.Henry short stories, etc.) Many of them have been broadcast in AIR Mysore. He has also translated all of Smt. Triveni’s novels to English and I am working on getting them published.
      At this point, before sending out to publishers, I would welcome any translation/ editing support and help from anyone who is great with English/ Kannada to edit/ check/ correct the English version of Smt. Triveni’s novels that Shri. S. N. Shankar has translated.
      Thank you.

      • Triveniharish says:

        hi iam proudly said my name is Triveni iam big fan of Triveni mam
        i want Triveni mam all books collecton help me meera mam please reply my email address.

  6. The reader says:

    If you have visited William Shakespeare’s house, you would have seen how many prominent leaders of past, going back to many decades, who visited this house, and have left their written impressions. Shakespeare was very unique, as Ben Johnson said and S.N. Shankar used to quote:”He was not of an age, but for all time”. Best not to emulate this great man’s heritage house, but to model this museum after Bronte Sisters’ house, in Hawarth, North Yorkshire, now called Bronte Parsonage. It might even better, if Meera visits this Museum and Jane Austen’s House Museum in Chawton village in Hampshire In England. Even Dicken”s House In Doughty Street in London is also a good place to visit. Very often visitors visits Stratford-upon-Avon which is understandable, but Shakespeare’s House was a mammoth venture, given his unique stature in the English literature, and hence attracts hundreds of visitors all over the world every day.

    • The reader says:

      It is worth remembering that it requires massive funds to keep any museum running with entry charges seldom meeting the requirements of meeting more mundane utility bills, repair bills, the staff costs etc..; in the case of museums of Kuvempu, Shvirama Karanth and DR Bendre, considering their unique stature in Kannada literature,the State funds will be available for the running and upkeep costs these museums. About R K Narayan, it is not clear although,, the initial cost of setting up this museum seemed to have come from the Municipal source. The danger is in the long run,keeping the museum such as this open and running,when the attendance falls, and the interest gradually vanes. This sounds pessimistic, but those who run well known and established museums of this kind say they are always apprehensive of their long term future.

  7. Babu says:

    Dear mam

    What is the status of this project. I have a request to make. Institute a panel of woman writers and award budding young girls in Kannada literacy to be encouraged

    Also let us make a set of all the books your mother published and make sure they adorn school library

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