Sunday, June 16, 2013

Looking for some Telugu books

by Sarada Natarajan (earlier post about him here, Bhradwaja, and Jashuva(Khandakavyamulu). I will be in Vijayawada area in a couple of months. does anybody know where to look for them? I was reminded of them after finally finding 'Flaming Feet' by D.R. Nagaraj on Kindle.
P.S. Just noticed this on Sarada, real name Subramaniyer Natarajan
From what I can gather from this and the earlier post, he was born in Pudukkotai around 1924. His father two wives.It is not clear to me what the total number of children was. His daughters from first marriage and a son lived in Madras. He moved tp Madras at some stage but could not get much help from his children. He had two more daughters in addition to Natarajan. It seems the two were married to two Telugu brothers Yarrapraggada Bhima Rao and Sundara Rama Rao in Tenali. Natarajan used to sell ground camphor near a temple and also beg but studied upto 7th grade. He seemed well versed in Tamil literature  and also learnt some English. His father found it difficult to make a living in Madras and finally moved to Tenali in the winter of 1937 when Natarajan was around 13. His son in law Bhima Rao was poor too but had a small restaurant in which Natarajan worked as a server. He started learning Telugu from the customers and also from a teacher who was teaching his sister's son until grade three. He listened to film songs and used to ask others including hotel customers for their meaning.When he was around fifteen, his father died and on the same day it was found that Natarajan had epilepsy. He soon learnt the language and developed a love for it and started interacting with literary persons (Tenali was a big centre for for writers in  politics, philosophy and literature) and by the age of 19 organized a handwritten Telugu magazine Prajawani with three copies. One copy was placed in the communist party office, another in local library and the thirs circulated among friends.When he was 21 or so he started writing stories and published his first story in 1948. All the while he worked in hotels as a server or had his own restaurant or dhaba which did not do well and sold home made snacks and also old magazines.He died in 1955 and during the few years wrote 6 novels, 70-80 stories, some plays. Some were published after his death with help from his friend Aluri Bhujanga Rao who alos published a biography of Natarajan. Some time during the period he married and had two children whose whereabouts are known. before his death, his sister came to help his wife who was pregant. Apparently, he went to Tenali station to see off a friend, came back home had dinner and said he was feeling tired. His sister asked him to take rest. He went to put his shirt on a peg, collapsed and died. His last words seem to be in Tamil to his sister and wife 'jagratai, jagratai'. I only rember reading a bit of his s work in the fifties. There are some appraisals in the first link. Since he did not belong to any particular group or had strong sponsors, his work seems forgotten but some have started remembering him. 

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