|Of Poetry, Poets and Self|
| At the age of twelve or thirteen Ch.S.Rao
had occasion to come in contact with the Kopparapu brothers, a duo of Telugu
poets, specialists in Aasu Kavitwam, or the faculty of metrical composition
combined with the facility of instant utterance. It was an impressive spectacle
that the duo made at the performance that they gave before a sizeable audience
in a hall in the mansion of the late Kasinathuni Nageswara Rao, known for
his Amrutanjan and Andhra Patrica instituted by him, the former having survived
to this day. One brother came out with one line of a verse, readily followed
by another line from the other brother and both maintained the quick succession
of words matching ideas in unfailing matrical style, verse after verse.
It was a performance that would stagger any scientist even at this day which
can boast of transport of super-sonic velocity and communication on the
spur of the moment at the speed of thought. But the Kopparapu brothers did
not leave any lasting work behind them. On the other hand, Tirupati Venkata
Kavulu, duo of redoubtable competitive power have left us the legacy of
a literary output of solid merit. Shri Ch. S. Rao's style of writing Telugu
poetry owes much to their example, which inspired many a young aspirant
for poetic expression, in their heyday.
An example of Aasukavitwam in the realm of English literature may well be John Milton's Paradise Lost dictated by him to his daughter, in his blindness. That shows that it is not a concomitant of Aasukavitwam that it should share the fury of the whirl-wind. It need only be characterised by imaginative power reinforced with a facile flow of thought and feeling and an inherent music or the 'concord of sweet sounds'. That is the result of divine grace and this is what John Milton means when he says that poetry is sacred to the gods. It is so dear to them that they cannot but grant boons to the poets who adore them. Milton, like the Hindus, believed in multiple gods deriving their strength from the Supreme Spirit. The poet is so much satisfied with the benevolence of that Spirit that where a result is not favourable he proceeds "to justify the ways of God to man" rather than blame God.
Shri Rao's bent for Sanskrit poetry - writing became clear first, when he had to remain alone in 1970 at Kanpur where he was posted for duty, leaving his family at Calcutta for his children's continuity at school. The capacity to write fluent poetry dawned on him at Kanpur, when he was a regular visitor at the celebrated local Radha Krishna temple to partake of its quiet atmosphere and the 'darsan' at Aarati time in the evening. Sri Rao's Krishna Katha Sudha commenced then has lagged behind his Geetajali gaanamrutam in the matter of publication. It was like a cloud-burst when he came out with the opening lines of the work, and since then the divine grace has continued its flow, as attested by the list of works which appears separately.
Poetry, says Shri Rao, is to be judged for its efficacy empirically and the use of poetry consists in saving man's life from being 'nasty, brutish and short', in the pragmatic words of Hobbes who used them to justify the birth of the state as an organised society, Infact, speaking positively it supplies grace, refinement and length of happiness, to man in society, says Shri Rao.
Shri Ch.S.Rao was honoured with the titles of Bhakti-Sahitya-Bhaskara and Kavihridaya-Visaarada by the All India Vishnu Sahasranama Federation of Madras at Tirumala with about a thousand delegaates from all over the country assembled in the spacious Srivari Aasthana mantapam, in 1998.
[Home][Background][About Ch S Rao][Books][Contact]