Thursday, February 07, 2013

So much pain in hundred pages

Autobiography of Kondapalli Koteswaramma in Telugu. Review in Indian Express
Woman Extraordinaire
I could not read it one sitting; every few pages I had to go out to brace myself for the next parts. Early parts are reminiscent of Yelamanchili Venkatappaiah's autobiography giving glimpses of the social structure of Krishna district village life in the 1930s and 40's and then moves on to communist movement, beginnings of Praja Natya Mandali, social changes, struggles and the gradual evolution of one extraordinary woman. Nobody is blamed, all told in a matter of fact voice. So much is packed into a few pages. Along the way, we get glimpses some extraordinary gentlemen like Pucchalapalli Sundarayya and Chandra Rajeswara Rao and many other examplary men and women of that era. Considering the difficulties her children had when both parents went underground, perhaps many of the others took to safer options. I her own case, the struggles seem to be going on even with the third generation but in a less painful way. At a personal level. I was able to learn some about the life an old friend Kavuri Ramesh Babu during the period that I lost touch with him; he was the husband of her daughter Karuna.
I understand that the publishers are planning an English translation. I hope that regional language translations will also come out.

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