T.P. KAILASAM - IYER

Tyagaraja Paramasiva Kailasam, (1884-1946) known simply as Kailasam in Kannada literary world ushered in a new era in Kannada Theatre including play-writing.

He was a rare genius, a combination of scientific thinking, love of music and arts, experimentation, knowledge of ancient learning, patriotism, and affection for people and culture of Karnataka. More than anything else he loved the common man and tried to reach him.

Born to Paramasiva Iyer, then the Chief Justice of Mysore High-court, Kailasam had a brilliant academic career. After completion of post-graduation at Madras, he won a fellowship and went to London for higher studies in Geology. He became a Fellow of Royal Geological Survey by presenting a masterly dissertation.

During his seven years of stay (1908-1915) in London, he took lot of interest in Western music. He played the piano, sang and composed tunes. But the theater attracted him the most. London of the time teamed with great actors

and they enacted in plays of Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde, Ibsen, Shaw, Moliere and others. Kailasam attended their shows frequently, discussed with some of them, the latest stage-techniques and modes of presentation. English stage overwhelmed him. But it did not spoil his originality.

After his return to Mysore he was appointed as an officer in Mysore State Geological Survey. He worked at different places and discovered rare rocks, but one day he resigned suddenly.

Most of his masterpieces, "Polikitti", "Home-Rule", "Bandavaalillada Badai", "Ammavra Ganda", etc.., were dictated by Kailasam. These plays regaled the audience and exposed the darker side of the society at the same time. His plays in English like "The Curse"(Karna), "The Purpose"(Ekalavya) and collection of poems are equally forceful.

Kailasam's plays are translated in Telugu, Marathi, Bengali and Sanskrit. Many of his works were published after his death.

In spite of sound English academic background he remained Indian to the core. The themes he those were from great Indian epics. He also depicted the plight of the downtrodden like the prostitutes, widows, and the destitute in most moving terms.

 

 

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