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Here’s a video of an introductory talk about Bharta Muni’s Natyashastra, the earliest Indian work about performing arts:

Several weeks ago, thanks to Twitter thread,  I started listing many books that I read over the years, with a small description. Even with the 140 character limit, it was quite easy to keep my list in a single thread.  When I hit the magical number 100 I said that was enough, and concluded with a book that I have partly read – in a way, so as to represent all those books that I want to read in the future!
There is no rhyme or reason why a certain book appears earlier or later. There is no inherent ranking. I just listed as I remembered, at random intervals. I can recall many other books I would have wanted to add here, but I am past the limit I put to myself! There are many other books which I have loved reading, but I have not listed them since I have read them only partially.
When I finished my list, I found I actually listed a few books twice! May be I loved them so much. Later I replaced the doubles with other books with other entries.
I thought sharing this list with other bloggers who may find it interesting.
The whole thing started with the following:
1. ಚೆನ್ನಬಸವನಾಯಕ Chennabasava Nayaka-A novel based on historical events of the 18th century Karnataka by Masti Venkatesha Ayyangar (pen name Srinivasa). I’ve read this book many times.
2: 107 Stories about Chemistry – I read this when at a time I was still learning to read English, probably in my 5th or 6th grade then. Definitely opened me to science world.
3: ಜಗತ್ತುಗಳ ಹುಟ್ಟು ಸಾವು “JagattugaLa huTTu sAvu” Birth & Death of Worlds by R L Narasimhaiah, my introduction to the world of astronomy and astrophysics.
4. AmaruShatakam, in #Samskrta– by Amaru or Amaruka – The first book in Samskrta that I tried reading through Samskrta commentaries. The beauty of the verses prompted me to translate it to Kannada, which is somewhere around the 80% mark as I write this post.
5: ತ್ಯಾಗರಾಜರ ಜೀವನ ಚರಿತ್ರೆ, Biography of Tyagaraja, by Dr V.S.Sampatkumarcharya. Well written to include all known details of his life #music
6: The Complete Works of Sherlock Holmes – First I read many stories in #Kannada translation then in English including the novels #BakerSt
7: ಯುಗಾಂತ, Translation of #IravatiKarve‘s Marathi book ’Yuganta’ – A collection of essays about several main characters of #Mahabharata #MBH
8:ಹಸುರು ಹೊನ್ನು Hasiru Honnu, by #BGLSwamy,A lighthearted read teaching abt Botany. Sorta Memoirs of his stint at Presidency College,Chennai
9: ಹಾದಿಯ ಹಾಡು(IIRC) #Kannada translation of Bangla novel #PatherPanchali– don’t remember the author. Read it long ago.Had all the 3 parts.
10. ಕೃಷ್ಣಕರ್ಣಾಮೃತ Krishnakarnamrta ,in #Sakmskrta original by #Lilashuka. IMO there is no better work that shows the lyrical beauty of #Sanskrit
11. ವಂಶವೃಕ್ಷ – #Vamshavrksha, #SLBhyrappa‘s novel -Another book which I have read multiple times. This is translated to several Indic languages- Read it, don’t watch the pale movie
12. A Tale of Two Cities – by Charles Dickens – It’s been a while I read this but remember me getting lost in it when reading
13.ವೀಣಾಲಕ್ಷಣ ವಿಮರ್ಶೆ Vina Lakshana Vimarshe, a critique musicological text Vinalakshana,by Prof R Satyanarayana-My first read of him _/\_
14.Ragas of Sangita Saramrta – by Prof S R Janaki Raman . If you are into #Indian #Music you MUST read Prof SRJ & Prof R Sathyanarayana _/\_
15. Arthashastra of Kautalya- Read (mostly) in Kannada,some in English-Not that I remember everything. Highly recommended for history buffs
16.ಶಾಂತಲಾ Shanthala #Kannada novel by K V Iyer-Not 100% true to history, but some sections are so vivid & descriptive to take you to 11th C
17. Your Inner Fish by Prof Neil Shubin. This is for you if you are interested in #evolution – And I had the opportunity take a picture with this author!
18: ಭಾಷಾಂತರ ಕಲೆ “The Art of Translation” -A practical, insightful book abt translations (mainly to, and from #Kannada)by DrPradhan Gurudatta – I have a picture taken with this author too, which I will upload 🙂
19: ಸುಭಾಷಿತ ಚಮತ್ಕಾರ – Subhashita Chamatkara by S V Pravameshwara Bhatta-Read when I was 10.Perhaps my inspiration to get into #translation
20: The Lost River: On The Trails of Saraswati by Michel Danino-A must-read for #India #history &civilization buffs. A review here: …
21. ಬೇಂದ್ರೆ ಮೇಘದೂತ – Translation of #Kalidasa‘s #Meghaduta in #Kannada. An exemplary work, showing how to preserve beauty in verse form
22. The Mousetrap and other plays – by #agathachristie -Read them first around 25 years ago, and I have read each play multiple times later
23. ಪರ್ವ – Parva – Surprised this #Kannada novel of #SLBhyrappa had to wait until #23 in here, because it is indeed one my favorite reads
24. ಸಾರ್ಥ – Saartha, also a #Kannada novel of #SLBhyrappa, another great read depicting 8th century India – It’s translated to many langs
25: Swaramela Kalanidhi – Treatise on music by #Ramamatya,minister of Ramaraya, last #Vijayanagara king, English translation RamaswamyIyer
26: ಶರಪಂಜರ – Shara panjara – A #Kannada novel by #Triveni. She was way ahead for her times – and chose to write about topics not tried b4
27:Years of Pilgrimage-Autobiography of Dr Rajaramanna-Read 25 yeras ago,but I don’t remember anything other than he played the piano too!
28. ಎವರೆಸ್ಟ್ ವೀರ – #Kannada #translation of Tenzing Norgay’s autobiography, ‘Man of the
Everest’ – Well translated by Kudali Chidambaram
29: ಜೀವ-ಜೀವನ – “Jeeva-Jeevana” by Shivarama Karanta -Kannada encyclopedia of life sciences, read when I was probably 10 yo, cover to cover
30. Collected Short Stories of #Masti Venkatesha Ayyangar ಮಾಸ್ತಿ ಅವರ ಸಣ್ಣ ಕಥೆಗಳು Around 100 in total, and many are gems – Deserves a thread !
31. She by Ryder Haggard – I must thank #Kannada monthly #Kasturi for publishing abridged versions of many books! Read this in there first!
32. ಪುರುಷೋತ್ತಮ Purushottana, a #Kannada novel by Yashavanta #Chittala Landsharks in Mumbai and intricate family fued and what not.Good read!
33.ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ಸಂಗೀತ ವಾಹಿನಿ -Karnataka Sangeeta Vahini by Mahamahopadhyaya Ra.Sathyanarayana – for lay readers, but in depth history of Karnataka sangeeta (in general Indian music). Must read for anyone who wants to get a deeper understanding of the traditions, composers and history.
34.The Murder of Roger Ackroyd-One of the best novels of #AgathaChristie, one of the first of her works I read #mystery #murder #fiction
35. ಬೆಳದಿಂಗಳ ಬಾಲೆ -beLadingaLa bAle, translated from Telugu(Yandamuri Virendranath’s novel)-I remember waiting for issues of Sudha to read!
36.ಮಸುಕು ಬೆಟ್ಟದ ಹಾದಿ-masuku beTTada hAdi,novel by M R Dattatri.I know him well!Excellent read,abt a character with a rare medical condition. For those interested , here is a short write up about ಮಸುಕು ಬೆಟ್ಟದ ಹಾದಿ … #ಕನ್ನಡ #ಕಾದಂಬರಿ #ದತ್ತಾತ್ರಿ #ನೆನಪಿನರೋಗ
37.The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Scloot. If you were born after 1961, you almost owe your life to her! #Polio #Vaccine
38: ಹಳಗನ್ನಡ, haLagannada by S Shettar,about the evolution of #Kannada inscriptions-A scholarly work in spite of some biases shown by author
39. ಸಮಸ್ಯೆಯ ಮಗು ಮತ್ತು ಇತರ ಕಥೆಗಳು – A collection of #Kannada short stories by Triveni About one of the stories here …
40: SvapnaVasavadattam – Bhasa’s #Samskrta play in it’s various #Kannada and #English translations. Some day, I will bring this onto stage!
41.ನಿರಂತರ Nirantara #Kannada novel by #KTGatti, read long ago in #Taranga, The hero goes in search of dEvalOka in the Himalayas,and then..
42 : #Aryabhateeyam, of who else but #Aryabhata, in Kannada & English translation. I don’t claim I understood it 100%
43. ಹೊಸತು-ಹೊಸತು A collection of research articles by #ChiMoo Dr Chidananda Murthy, about Karnataka & Kannada culture. Avlbl on Google Play
44.Vedanga Jyotisha of #Lagadha,with Kuppanna Sastry’s critic and txn. A concise(& oldest) text of #Indian #Astronomy
45. ಶ್ರೀರಾಮ ಪಟ್ಟಾಭಿಷೇಕ SriRamaPattabhisheka-Geetaroopaka of #PuTiNa. Had the fortune of taking a role in few performances too! #music #drama
46.Kon-Tiki Expedition memoir by Thor Heyerdahl(Read in #Kannada translation)Sometimes wrong theories may lead to unbelievable things! #Life
47. Arctic Home in the #Vedas-Balgangadhar #Tilak, Another case of wrong theories leading to alternate thinking and ultimately #truth #life
48.The Thirukkural -Translated versions(English,Kannada)read long back, that I forget who the translators are.Worldly wisdom for all times!
49. ಸುಭಾಷಿತ ಮಂಜರೀ Subhadhita Manjari – A collection of #Samskrta #subhashitas from various sources, in #Kannada prose style translation
50. ಗೃಹಭಂಗ Grhabhanga, novel by #SLbhairappa. Translated into many Indian languages. The dialect used is close to my hometown’s #Kannada
51. Chaturdandi Prakashika -Musicological work in #Samskrta by #Venkatamakhi a kannadiga minister in Tanjavur court, original & translations
52. ತಂತು tantu, a novel by #SLBhyrappa, set in the 1970-80 that shows the fabric of politics, life and corruption in India-Available in txns
53. ದುಡ್ಡು ^ ದುಡ್ಡು – Telugu novel of #Yandamuri Virendranath, translated to Kannada. Supposedly he was inspired by English novels, but were eagerly awaited
54. ಪದಾರ್ಥ ಚಿಂತಾಮಣಿ – Padartha Chintamani, by Pa Vem Acharya – searching the etymology of Kannada words – which appeared in Kasturi monthly earlier
55. ಬಂಗಾರದ ಮನುಷ್ಯ Bangaarada Manushya “Golden Man”, a #Kannada novel by T K Ramarao. Movie based on this became an all-time hit! #Rajkumar
56. ಕುಂಜಾಲು ಕಣಿವೆಯ ಕೆಂಪು ಹೂವು #Kannada novelette by Na.D’Souza The hero goes to Kunjalu valley to see flowers blooming once 12 years.and ..
57. ಅವಧೇಶ್ವರಿ Avadheshwari, a #Kannada novel set in the Vedic times, written by Shankara Mokashi Punekar, an alternate universe ..
58.The Hoysalas-A Medieval Indian Royal Family, by Duncan M Berret-Good overview of
59. ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತ ನಾಟಕ by AR Krishnashastry – A comprehensive guide to the evolution of Samskrta drama/theater in India. #Kannada #Theater #Stage
60. ಸಿಂಗಾರವ್ವ ಮತ್ತು ಅರಮನೆ Singaravva mattu aramane, novel by Chandrashekhara #Kambara – Read this after watching movie based on the novel
61. ಚಿಕವೀರರಾಜೇಂದ್ರ chikaveerarajendra, #Kannada novel based on historical events in Kodagu, by the one and only #Masti Venkatesha Ayyangar
62.ಲಲಿತಾತಿಥ್ಯ novelette by #Kannada short story writer #Ashwattha – Actually reads more like a ಲಲಿತ ಪ್ರಬಂಧ
63. Grow long Blessed night – Translations of Indian love poetry. Some useful insights about common elements of Prakrta, Samskrta and Tamil
64.ಫಣಿಯಮ್ಮ Phaniyamma, #Kannada novel by #MKIndira. I felt the novel was full of life compared to the movie based on this
65. My stroke of Insight – What happens when a stroke occurs, to a brain scientist , resulted in this interesting book!
66. ದುರ್ಗಾಸ್ತಮಾನ durgAstamAna, #Kannada novel by tarAsu based on historical events with the nAyakas of Chitradurga,and the fall of the fort
67. The Great Indian Novel , by @ShashiTharoor – I wonder how he ended up in @INCIndia after writing the PriyaDuryodhani character 😉
68. ನಾ ಕಂಡ ಕಲಾವಿದರು nA kanDa kalAvidaru, memoirs by musician,composer #Mysore #Vasudevacharya,I guess available in English translation too
69. ತಬ್ಬಲಿಯು ನೀನಾದೆ ಮಗನೆ novel by #SLBhyrappa #TabbaliyuNeenaadeMagane
70. The Madras Quartet by Indira Menon – About 4 women artists who influenced Karnataka #sangita in 20th century – MSS, MLV, DKP and Brinda
71. ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ಸಂಗೀತ ಸುಧಾ – For those interested and want to go deeper in theory of Karnataka Sangeeta, by Ramaratnam & VS Sampatkumaracharya
72. ತಿರುಪತಿ ತಿಮ್ಮಪ್ಪ Tirupati Timmappa, by Vidyavachaspati Prof S K Ramachandra Rao – Everything you want to know about Tirupati temple!
73. Before the Dawn, by Nicholas Wade. A proto history of Homo Sapiens and how they settled 6 continents
74. ಸಾರ್ಥು, the #Sanketi translation of #SLBhyrappa‘s #Kannada novel, by Dr.Pranatartiharan. One of the best translations I have ever read!
75. ಮೂಕಜ್ಜಿಯ ಕನಸುಗಳು – Mukajjiya KanasugaLu, #Kannada novel by #Shivarama #Karanta.Read it long ago,forget all details except it was excellent!
76. ಧರ್ಮಶ್ರೀ Dharmashree by #SLBhyrappa, one of his first novels. One of the very few books I read in one sitting. Overnight 🙂 #thosedays
77. ನನ್ನಿ Nanni by novelist Karnam Pavan Prasad. … no wonder I remembered this right after Dharmashree #NoConversion
78. Selections from Vidyakata’s #SubhashitaRatnaKosha, translated to English, by Daniel H. H. Ingalls #Samskrta सुभाषितरत्नकोशः
79. Charlotte’s Web, by E.B.White. Found the book on my daughter’s desk, and started to read, and could not lift my eyes off the book! 1/2
80: ಸೇಡಿಯಾಪು ಕೃಷ್ಣಭಟ್ಟರ ವಿಚಾರ ಪ್ರಪಂಚ – A collection of essays in Kannada, about various Indic topics)
81.ಕನ್ನಡ ಶಾಸನಗಳ ಸಾಂಸ್ಕೃತಿಕ ಅಧ್ಯಯನ – A cultural study of Kannada inscriptions, by Dr Chidananda Murthy #ChiMoo.Recommended for #history buffs
82. It Happened Tomorrow – Compiled by Jayant Narlikar – A collection of science fiction stories in Indian languages translated in English – The very first translation I tried out was a story from this collection. That was during the times when Kannada typing on computer wasn’t available. I wrote it on paper, and unfortunately misplaced 😦
83: Sangita Sampradaya Pradarshini – by Subburama Dikshitar translated excellently to English by P.P.Narayanaswami & Vidya Jayaraman – The book is available on
84.ಲೂಯಿ ಪಾಸ್ತರ್ Louis Pasteur,Biography in #Kannada,written by JRLakshmana Rao, One of my earliest reads that got me interested in sciences.
85.ನಾಟ್ಯಶಾಸ್ತ್ರ #Bharata‘s #Natyashastra in #Kannada, Text of Indian dramatics,music & dance- wonderfully translated by Adya Rangacharya
86.ಕರ್ನಾಟಕ ಸಂಗೀತ ಪಾರಿಭಾಷಿಕಾ ಶಬ್ದಕೋಶ Wonderful encyclopedia of music information by Sampatkumaracharya. Was my goto book b4 days of Internet!
87.ಪ್ರಾಧ್ಯಾಪಕನ ಪೀಠದಲ್ಲಿ Memoirs of B.G.L.Swamy, about his days as the Prof & HOD of Botany, Presidency College Madras. Very entertaining!
88. ಬೆಳ್ಳಿಮೋಡ, #Kannada novel, #BelliModa, by #Triveni I read it after I saw the movie adaptation by Puttanna Kanagal
89. ಕರ್ವಾಲೋ, by Purnachandra Tejasvi – Although I don’t remember a bit of the book now, I just remember It was an exciting read!
90. ಅಮೆರಿಕೆಯಲ್ಲಿ ಗೊರೂರು – Amerikeyalli Goruru – Travelogue by Goruru Ramaswamy Iyengar, about his experiences of his visit to the USA
91. ಚುಕ್ಕೆಯ ಪಾರಿವಾಳ Chukkeya pArivALa,detective novelette by #Kannada writer TKRamarao Enjoyed reading many of his books,but had to pick 1!
92. Poems from the Sanskrit – An anthology of xlated #Samskrta verses in English, John Brough. In a verse fashion too, which makes it better
93. Inventions that Changed the World – I read the #Kannada version, that was titled ಜಗತ್ತನ್ನು ಬದಲಾಯಿಸಿದ ವೈಜ್ಞಾನಿಕ ಸಾಧನಗಳು, published by the National Book Trust of India. If I remember correctly this was the first (or one of the very first) non-story book that I ever read!
94.ದ್ರಾವಿಡ ಭಾಷಾ ವಿಜ್ಞಾನ – ಹಂಪನಾ A book on Dravida (south Indian) languages by Dr. Hampa Nagarajaiah. Good read if you’re into in linguistics
95. ಯಯಾತಿ V.S.Khandekar’s #Marathi novel, #Yayati, translated into #Kannada, by V.M Inamdar
96. The Firm, Out of the many legal thriller’s of John Grisham I have read, this name came up first, and so it goes in the list!
97.ಪದ್ಮಪಾಣಿ’Padmapani’-Collection of #Kannada thriller/historical fiction by K.N.Ganeshaiah.First of many of his that I read,so made it here
98.The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown. The first of his many books I read- and impressed me a lot when reading, so makes to the list! 🙂
99. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – J.K.Rowling – The only book in the series that I completely read, so it goes here 🙂
100. ಇಗೋ ಕನ್ನಡ “igo Kannada” by G Venkatasubbiah – Miscellaneous snippets about Kannada language, etymology etc
And finally to conclude, here is a book that I have not finished reading sinceI wanted to make the list 101 long rather than 100 (Indian belief system, you know!).

And also by including a book that I am reading/not finished, I hope it gives me motivation to finish all those unfinished books in my shelf, on my desk, on the Kindle, or on Google Play, VividLipi, NewsHunt and the PDFs of many gem of a books, sometime in my lifetime!

So here goes the last entry:

101; ಭಾರತೀಯಕಾವ್ಯಮೀಮಾಂಸೆ BharatiyaKavyaMimamse,by TeeNamShree- An excellent work on Indian Poetics.

If you made until here, I hope you enjoyed reading the list! Wish me more time for reading 🙂


Did you know that few thousand years ago, today , the day after (what we now celebrate as) Shivaratri marked the beginning of spring?

Vedanga Jyotisha (~1400BC) clearly states the year begins with winter solstice, when both Sun and Moon are near the start Sravishtha and the Sun starts it’s journey north-word, begins the month of This was also the beginning of the season of Shishira.

Two months later, started the season of Vasanta (spring), the two months of which were called Madhu and Madhava. (The names like Chaitra and Vaishakha came in later). That is why even now you will find spring being referred as madhu mAsa (ಮಧುಮಾಸ).

This reminded of this verse from Kumaravyasa Bharata – in the description of Vasanta -ಪಸರಿಸಿತು ಮಧುಮಾಸ.
ಪಸರಿಸಿತು ಮಧುಮಾಸ ತಾವರೆ
-ಯೆಸಳ ದೋಣಿಯ ಮೇಲೆ ಹಾಯ್ದವು
ಕುಸುಮ ರಸದುಬ್ಬರದ ತೊರೆಯನು ಕೂಡೆ ದುಂಬಿಗಳು
ಒಸರ್ವ ಮಕರಂದದ ತುಷಾರದ
ಕೆಸರಳೊದ್ದವು ಕೊಂಚೆಗಳು ಹಗ
-ಲೆಸೆವ ದಂಪತಿವಕ್ಕಿ ಸಾರಸ ರಾಜಹಂಸಗಳು
(Kumaravyasa’s Bharata, description of spring, from Adi Parva)
(p.s: Vedanga Jyotisha does not talk about Shivartri, so I don’t know it it was celebrated 3500 years ago)

Dec 29th & 30th, 2016

Jan 7th & 8th, 2017

Historic Hoover Theater, San Jose CA


If you noticed I’ve not been posting here much, there is a good reason, and one that is joyful as well.

My next Kannada stage play, a thriller, “#3, Panchavati” is staging in the SF Bay Area next month! If you have friends and family in this area tell them about the play. There are four shows to choose from 🙂

Buy tickets for “#3, Panchavati” here

Please visit the Facebook Page of “#3, Panchavati” for updates

I’m very glad to tell you that the proceeds from the play will go towards charitable cause.



p.s: It is just a coincidence that this is my third play, and it is titled “#3, Panchavati”!


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"ಅಲ್ಲಿದೆ ನಮ್ಮ ಮನೆ…ಇಲ್ಲಿ ಬಂದೆ ಸುಮ್ಮನೆ… ಎಂಬ ಘೋಷ ವಾಕ್ಯದೊಂದಿಗೆ ಬ್ಲಾಗ್ ಮಂಡಲದಲ್ಲಿ ಕಾಣಿಸಿಕೊಂಡವರು ನೀಲಾಂಜನ. ಅಲ್ಲಿದೆ ನಮ್ಮ ಮನೆ ಕನ್ನಡದ ಪರಿಮಳವನ್ನು ಇಂಗ್ಲಿಷ್ ನಲ್ಲಿ ಹರಡುತ್ತಾ ಇದೆ. ಕನ್ನಡದ ವಚನಗಳು, ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತ ಸುಭಾಷಿತಗಳು ಜೊತೆಯಲ್ಲೇ ಸಂಗೀತ ಹೀಗೆ ಹಲವು ಲೋಕವನ್ನು ಈ ಬ್ಲಾಗ್ ಪರಿಚಯಿಸಿದೆ." ಅವಧಿ, ಮೇ ೧೫, ೨೦೦೮

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