|Saatyaki s/o Seshendra|
Visionary Poet of the Millennium
An Indian poet Prophet
October 20th, 1927 - May 30th, 2007
Rivers and poets
Are veins and arteries
Of a country.
Rivers flow like poems
For animals, for birds
And for human beings-
The dreams that rivers dream
Bear fruit in the fields
The dreams that poets dream
Bear fruit in the people-
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The sunshine of my thought fell on the word
And its long shadow fell upon the century
Sun was playing with the early morning flowers
Time was frightened at the sight of the martyr-
- Seshendra Sharma
"We are children of a century which has seen revolutions, awakenment of large masses of people over the earth and their emancipation from slavery and colonialism wresting equality from the hands of brute forces and forging links of brotherhood across mankind.
This century has seen peaks of human knowledge; unprecedented intercourse of peoples and
perhaps for the first time saw the world stand on the brink of the dilemma of one world or destruction.
It is a very inspiring century, its achievements are unique.
A poet who is not conscious of this context fails in his existence as poet."
(From his introduction to his “Poet’s notebook "THE ARC OF BLOOD" )
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B.A: Andhra Christian College: Guntur: A.P: India
B.L : Madras University: Madras
Deputy Municipal Commissioner (37 Years)
Dept of Municipal Administration, Government of Andhra Pradesh
Parents: G.Subrahmanyam (Father) ,Ammayamma (Mother)
Siblings: Anasuya,Devasena (Sisters),Rajasekharam(Younger brother)
Wife: Mrs.Janaki Sharma
Children: Vasundhara , Revathi (Daughters),
Vanamaali ,Saatyaki (Sons)
Seshendra Sharma is one of the most outstanding minds of modern Asia. He is the foremost of the Telugu poets today who has turned poetry to the gigantic strides of human history and embellished literature with the thrills and triumphs of the 20th century. A revolutionary poet who spurned the pedestrian and pedantic poetry equally, a brilliant critic and a scholar of Sanskrit, this versatile poet has breathed a new vision of modernity to his vernacular.Such minds place Telugu on the world map of intellectualism. Readers conversant with names like Paul Valery, Gauguin, and Dag Hammarskjold will have to add the name of Seshendra Sharma the writer from India to that dynasty of intellectuals.
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Seshendra Sharma better known as Seshendra isa colossus of Modern Indian poetry.
His literature is a unique blend of the best of poetry and poetics.
Diversity and depth of his literary interests and his works
are perhaps hitherto unknown in Indian literature.
From poetry to poetics, from Mantra Sastra to Marxist Politics his writings bear an unnerving pprint of his rare genius.
His scholarship and command over Sanskrit , English and Telugu Languages has facilitated his emergence as a towering personality of comparative literature in the 20th century world literature.
T.S.Eliot ,ArchbaldMacleish and Seshendra Sharma are trinity of world poetry and Poetics.
His sense of dedication to the genre of art he chooses to express himself and
the determination to reach the depths of subject he undertakes to explore
place him in the galaxy of world poets / world intellectuals.
Seshendra Sharma’s Writings Copyright © Saatyaki S/o Seshendra Sharma
Seshendra Sharma : Scholar - Poet
Seshendra Sharma, a scholar - poet was born (October 20, 1927) into a Pujari ( Priests ) family in Nellore District in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India . Seshendra’s father and his grandfather were well versed in Sanskrit Literature, Vedas and scriptures. At home itself, thus from his childhood , Seshendra got the opportunity of learning and training in Sanskrit. This was further nurtured by the Village school of Thotapalligudur, where he spent best part of his childhood.
Seshendra’s father was a well-to-do person, a Munsif ( village officer ) of the village, possessing more than Ten Acres of agricultural Wet land and own house . Father’s desire to see his son flower into a top man turned a new leaf in Seshendra’s life. Seshendra’s father admitted him for B.A. Graduation course in Andhra Christian College in Guntur. Incidentally, Seshendra’s Family Sir Name and this town’s name are one and the same. This is a turning point in the budding poet’s journey. Seshendra got significant exposure to the Western World, particularly to the Western Literature. The makings of a Visionary Poet germinated in him in this Alma Mater. His journey of poetry started with Translation of Mathew Arnold’s “Sohrab and Rustum “ , a long poem , which Seshendra translated into Telugu in Metrical poetry with accomplished finesse . This trend eventually blossomed and Seshendra emerged as an Epic – Poet. His My Country – My People : Modern Indian Epic is observed by learned critics as a land mark in modern poetry ranking it on par with T.S. Eliot’s Waste Land . This long poem was nominated for Nobel Prize in 2004. His subsequent works Gorilla, Turned into water and fled away, Ocean is my name – long poems were reviewed in scholarly strain.
Seshendra’s desire to perform in films took him to Madras, today’s Chennai in Tamil Nadu. In Madras he formally joined B.L. Course with Madras Law College. And was developing contacts in the Telugu Cinema Circles and was working as a freelance journalist. He used to translate articles into Telugu for Janavani , a popular weekly of those times whose editor was Tapi Dharma Rao , a towering personality of Telugu Literature. This facet of journalism of his personality rose to its full heights in 90s. When Soviet Union collapsed he wrote a series of articles in Telugu as well as in English decrying the west’s sinister plot, villainous machinations to pull down Communist Regimes. He sang odes / Laurels to communism and expressed in aggressive tone and style that communism will never die. It remains in the genes of oppressed peoples of the world for ever. Perhaps Seshendra is the only poet from the Indian Subcontinent to pen Anti – Imperialist essays during those times. He completed his Law course but his desire to act in films remained unfulfilled. Seshendra’s Classmates at his Alma Mater, A.C.College, Guntur, N.T.Rama Rao and Kongara Jaggaiah became popular actors of Telugu Cinema. N.T.R became an all time super –hero. Seshendra’s father and maternal uncle forcibly brought him back from Madras, and with the good offices of native Member of Parliament put him in Government service as Deputy Panchayat Officer. In due course of time, on deputation, joined Municipal Administration Department and worked as Municipal Commissioner in all Major cities and towns of Andhra Pradesh. With the result he got wide exposure to conditions of social life of his times. He obtained personal acquaintance of Common Man’s life and his travails. This enriched his vision of life and literature a great deal.
With Seshendra Poetry and Poetics are Siamese Twins. He penned works of Literary Criticism both on classical and contemporary poetry. Sahitya Kaumudi (Telugu ) and his bi-lingual book “ the ARC of Blood : My Note Book “ illustrate this point. His Research work on Valmiki’s Ramayana , Shodasi : Secrets of The Ramayana , questions the very foundations of centuries old assumptions. Seshendra, based on scientific research citing from the original text of Valmiki and Vedas, reveals that The Ramayana is not just story of Rama told in enchanting poetry , But the Sage wrote the epic to spread Kundalini Yoga among the masses of his era. His observations that the concepts of Vishnu and Reincarnation were non –existent during Valmiki’s Epoch constitute a revolt against centuries old beliefs. Sita is the central character of The Ramayana and she is Kundalini Shakti / Adi Para Shakthi . During that era temples and prayers were nonexistent. This hits directly at the very foundation of Temple System.
His Kavisena Manifesto , is a noteworthy work on Modern Poetics. In this work, he compiles cogently definitions of poetry cutting across centuries and countries and writes scintillating commentary. This Manifesto of Modern Poetry is a sort of Wikipedia page of world poetry. Seshendra, finally concludes that poetry is emotions and feelings skilfully garbed in unusual diction, and poetry is a way of life.
Discerning scholars critics and academics are of intrinsic opinion that T.S.Eliot ,Archibald MacLeish and Seshendra Sharma are trinity of world poetry and Poetics.
But this Scholar – poet of 20th century is an unsung and unwept genius of his times.
Prime Minister of India honoured Seshendra with Gold Medal in Sahitya Akademi ( India ) Golden Jubilee celebrations and Chief Minister of AP honoured him with Hansa Literary Award on the eve of UGADI , Telugu New Year Day in 2005 .
In one of his poems he says fragrance of stars is calling me. Seshendra left this world and vanished into fragrance of galaxies on May 30, 2007.
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GunturuSeshendraSarma: an extraordinary poet-scholar
One of the ironies in literature is that
he came to be known more as a critic than a poet
HYDERABAD: An era of scholastic excellence and poetic grandeur has come to an end in the passing away of GunturuSeshendraSarma, one of the foremost poets and critics in Telugu literature. His mastery over western literature and Indian `AlankaraSastra' gave his works a stunning imagery, unparalleled in modern Indian works. One of the ironies in literature is that he came to be known more as a critic than a poet. The Central SahityaAkademi award was conferred on him for his work `KaalaRekha' and not for his poetic excellence. The genius in him made him explore `Kundalini Yoga' in his treatise on Ramayana in `Shodasi' convincingly. His intellectual quest further made him probe `NaishadhaKaavya' in the backdrop of `LalitaSahasraNaamavali', `SoundaryaLahari' and `Kama Kala Vilasam' in `SwarnaHamsa', Seshendra saw the entire universe as a storehouse of images and signs to which imagination was to make value-addition. Like Stephene Mallarme who was considered a prophet of symbolism in French literature, SeshendraSarma too believed that art alone would survive in the universe along with poetry. He believed that the main vocation of human beings was to be artists and poets. His `Kavisena Manifesto' gave a new direction to modern criticism making it a landmark work in poetics. Telugus would rue the intellectual impoverishment they suffered in maintaining a `distance' from him. Seshendra could have given us more, but we did not deserve it! The denial of the Jnanpeeth Award to him proves it
India's National Newspaper
Friday, Jun 01, 2007
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Pardon Me Father!
I could not rescue him from the clutches of that nymphomaniac and vampire. There may be an exception or two but an average Indian woman desires from the depths of her soul that her husband should live long and she should pass away before him. She performs prayers and fasts on auspicious days for this purpose. She in spite of being 3years elder to him did away with my father in a planned and premeditated manner and I was a silent and helpless witness to it. He suffered 1st Heart attack in November 1997. Cardiologists performed angiogram and advised open heart surgery. Because there were blocks in vessels and one valve was damaged. But she successfully thwarted it and without my knowledge or informing any one got angioplasty done in Mediciti (Hyderabad: AP; India) her plan was to do away with him and live long, and establish herself as his wife through his books. He was succumbing to her blackmail. My overwhelming hunch is that she was threatening him with social insult and humiliation if he parts ways with her.
Between 1997-2007, she played football with his body. He used to be hospitalized every now and then with swollen body and heart pain. Because of damaged valve pumping was impaired and water used to accumulate in the system. Every time I used to force her to hospitalize him. He used be in ICCU for a couple of days and recover marginally. After each visit to hospital he was getting debilitated gradually. He was put on wheel chair. He was virtually under house arrest. He was not allowed to speak to friends and family members. Visitors were kept away. He was taking Lasix (Tablet: is a diuretic that is used to treat fluid accumulation, caused by heart failure, cirrhosis, chronic kidney failure, and nephrotic syndrome.) to flush out water accumulated in his body. This creates a painful dilemma in me whether my interference in his health matters was just. As his son it was my moral duty to protect him. But I sometimes feel if I were not to interfere she would have put him to death long ago and thus he would have escaped from physical and mental torture quite early.
Towards perhaps end of the month of March she withdrew medication. He got swollen suddenly and that condition continued till the last day i.e. 30th may 2007. Each time I visited I used to tell that witch to take him to hospital. But after a couple of visits I got convinced that she made up her mind this time to do away with him. I requested a bastard who was feigning to be a friend of mine, who incidentally happens to be a legal luminary of this region to send a doctor friend to that place and ascertain the exact condition of his health. But of no avail.
I kept on telling him to come out of that place and lead a normal and healthy life. Her blackmail gained an upper hand and I lost in my efforts to restore health to him and bring him back to civilized society. O God pardon me for not being able to outmanoeuvre her machinations. Pardon me father.
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