He wrote the first Telugu play, Kanyasulkam, which is often considered the greatest play in the Telugu language. Gurajada Apparao was an influential social reformer of his age and was lauded as Mahakavi, meaning "the great poet". He frequently dabbled in poetry, and is credited with creating a new style of poetry in the Telugu Language. He also holds the titles Kavishekara and Abyudaya kavitha pithamahudu. Apparently, his descendants prefer the second date.
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He wrote the first Telugu play, Kanyasulkam, which is often considered the greatest play in the Telugu language. Gurajada Apparao was an influential social reformer of his age and was lauded as Mahakavi, meaning "the great poet".
He frequently dabbled in poetry, and is credited with creating a new style of poetry in the Telugu Language. He also holds the titles Kavishekara and Abyudaya kavitha pithamahudu. Apparently, his descendants prefer the second date. He had a younger brother by name Syamala Rao.
He was well educated and had a good command in Sanskrit. He died in an accident while crossing a small river Utagedda near Vizianagaram. Gurajada lived most of his life in and around Vizianagaram in what was then called as kalinga rajyam. He and his father before him were both employed by the princely state of Vizianagaram.
Gurazada enjoyed a close relationship with the ruling family during his adult life. Gurajada had his initial schooling till age 10 in Cheepurupalli while his father was working there. His remaining schooling was done at Vizianagaram after his father died. During that time, he lived in relative poverty and maintained himself as a varalabbayi.
He was generously taken care of by the then M. College Principal, C. Chandrasekhara Sastri who provided him free lodging and boarding. He completed his metriculation in and obtained F. Soon after, he was employed as a teacher in M. High School in with a salary of Rs.
His daughter OlETi lakshmee narasamma was born in He was simultaneously involved in social work and became a member of the Voluntary Service Corps in Visakhapatnam in He was elected vice-president of the Ananda Gajapati Debating club in His son Venkata Ramadasu was born in He taught the F.
His Sarangadhara, published in "Indian Leisure Hour" was well received. He encouraged Gurajada in many ways. He told Gurajada that however talented he might become in English, it is still a foreign tongue and that he would scale greater heights if he chose to compose in Telugu. Gurajada too was gradually coming to this conclusion. During this period, it is also said that Gurajada was also in correspondence with a British Journalist and author.
It became an instant hit. It was the first Telugu drama expressly written in spoken dialect. Prior to that, there were dramas that employed spoken dialect in a few parts of the drama. Vedam Venkata raya Sastri wrote a very popular drama "Prataparudreeyam," where he followed the Sanskrit example in allowing the so-called "lower" characters to use spoken dialect while the so-called "upper" characters used chaste literary dialect.
Veeresalimgam Pantulu wrote some dramas, notably "Brahma vivahamu," with some spoken dialect content. This drama was written more as an accessory to his crusade against social evils than for literary enjoyment.
The Kanyasulkam was the first to achieve both the aims. And an unparalleled achievement it was! The success of Kanyasulkam encouraged Gurajada to open up and seek out others with similar views. He came in contact with several contemporary luminaries. The rumbling sounds of movement to support spoken dialect as a platform for literary activity were gathering around that time. The highly successful staging of Kanyasulkam gave this movement a big boost.
It conclusively showed that works that have undisputed literary value and are very popular could be composed in spoken dialects.
Even the opponents of the spoken dialect movement such as kaseebhatta brahmayya Sastri had to concede that the kanyASulkaM has a significant literary merit. The success made Gurajada a sort of celebrity. He was being sought after for literary events and for reviewing other literary works.
He also wrote the great Telugu patriotic song Desamunu Preminchumanna in The following lines appears in his poetry Desamunu Preminchumanna - Desamante matti kaadoyi, desamante manushuloyi meaning, A country is not made of land; a country is made of its people. Magazine In , Gurajada tried to establish a magazine by name "prakASika.
In the same year, the prince died following a brief illness without leaving a successor. After this, Gurajada was appointed as personal secretary and advisor to the Maharani of Reeva Appala Kondamamba - sister of Anada Gajapati. Gurajada had his second daughter third child PuligeDDa Kondayyamma in Gurajada was put in charge of taking care of all the legal proceedings. The case dragged on for many years and ended in an out of court settlement in In , his close friend P. Srinivasa Iyyangar, principal of Mrs.
College, Visakhapatnam started an association to promote curriculum reform in high schools. One of the chief aims was to introduce spoken dialects. Along with him, J. Yates — -a British civil servant, Gidugu and Gurajada were the principal members. Another friend S. Srinivasa Iyengar — also gave a lot of support and encouragement.
Gurajada developed some health problems and took some time off to convalesce at the Nilgiri hills. While taking rest, he got around to preparing the second edition of kanyasulakam and published it in This edition was completely revised and greatly expanded compared to the original version. It is this edition that made the drama a truly outstanding work of art. Each character developed a life of its own and they all came together in an unforgettable comedy.
The next year, he participated in a community meal at Berhampur where people of various classes and castes shared the same food and ate together.
Around this time, Gurajada started writing very prolifically and composed several poems, songs and short stories. These works are among the most famous in Telugu literature.
In , he was appointed to the Board of Studies by Madras University. The same year, Gurajada and his friends started the Andhra Sahitya Parishat to promote the use of spoken dialects. The next year, he was invited to attend the meeting of the bangeeya sAhitya pariShat Bengal Literary Association at Culcutta.
The same year, his second patron, Maharani of Reeva died. Retirement Gurajada took retirement in with a pension of Rs. Madras University honoured him by making him a "Fellow.
He constructed a new house worth Rs. He was left with nothing but a rupee. After a few months of illness and poverty, Gurajada died in Outline of Kanyasulkam Kanyasulkam is about the deplorable condition of widows in traditional Brahmin families in the Andhra region of India during the 19th century.
The play is a highly thought-provoking social drama dealing with social issues relevant to the time. Gurajada Apparao was deeply troubled by the double standards, hypocrisy and social inequalities in the Indian society.
The English preface to the first edition of his play states: "Such a scandalous state of things is a disgrace to society, and literature can not have a higher function than to show up such practices and give currency to a high standard of moral ideas.
Until reading habits prevail among masses, one must look only to the stage to exert such healthy influence. The play is ageless in the sense that its projection of the Indian mindset and psyche is very relevant and applicable in Indian Society today. The play was in some ways way ahead of its time and was very bold in criticizing the popular opinions and practices during that era.
It frequently jabs at the male-dominated society of India, by bringing to the forefront certain egoistic idiosyncrasies of a typical Indian male, in an unflattering manner. It also questions the practices of witchcraft, sorcery, and their popular usage in medical practice during that period in India.
Personal Life He was married to Appala Narasamma in In the mean time, he continued his studies and graduated with B. Philosophy major and Sanskrit minor in College with a salary of Rs. This prince had a significant role in encouraging the arts and education in these parts of the country. Gurajada gradually developed a cordial relationship with the prince. This association led to his involvement with the princely family for a long time.
Legacy Gurajada Apparao is popularly known in Andhra pradesh as Gurazada. He is the most popular poet among Telugu literature. The townhall is constructed on his name at Vijayanagaram and Vijag by the Govt of A. Almost every popular town has a street named after Gurazada.
Vuk Gurazada Apparao College, Visakhapatnam started an association to promote curriculum reform in high schools. His play is still widely read and translated into numerous other languages. In the mean time, he continued his studies and graduated with B. Gurajada developed a long run friendship and association with the Pusapati family for years. In other projects Wikimedia Commons Wikisource.
Gurazada Apparao Biography in Telugu