GIRISH KARNAD 1938
On May 19, 1938, Girish Karnad was born into a Konkani family in Matheran, Maharashtra. A brilliant scholar, Karnad did his early schooling in Marathi. He went on to graduate in the Arts form Karnataka University. Dharwad and studies at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar for his Master of Arts degree in Political Science, Philosophy and Economics. This Fulbright Scholar is a writer, director, actor, poet and playwright. His plays written in Kannada have been translated into English and virtually every popular Indian language. Although he frequently drafts his stories around historical and even mythological issues, the problems are contemporary, as in his first play Yayati (1961) and the later and more popular Tughlaq (1964), a comment on the Nehruvian era. The play was first performed by the National School of Drama. His mythical plays include Hayayadana and Nagamandala also made into a film. Nagamandala is based on two Kannada folk tales. It has travelled the country and the world and the English translation premiered at the Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis. Karnad has about 11 plays to his credit. He has acted, director and done the screenplay in several films earning several awards. The first film he directed was Vamsha Vruksha, which won several national and international awards. He has acted in and directed films in Kannada and Hindi including Utsav and Godhuli. In 197475, he was the director of the Film and Television Institute of India. He has also been the Chairman of the Sangeet Natak Akademi from 1988 to 1993. Karnad is blessed with a magnetic voice that he has lent to the children’s audiobooks. Karadi Tales and to Dr APJ Abdul Kalam’s audiobook, Wings of Fire. He has received the Jnanpith Award (1998), the Padma Shri (1974) the Padma Bhushan (1992) and other awards for literature for his plays and films. His film Samskara (1970) won the Golden Lotus. In his youth, Girish Karnad dreamt of international acclaim for his poems in English. The accolades did come but for fields more diverse than even a man as creative as him could ever have imagined.