Swadeshi Son

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UR Ananthamurthy
UR Ananthamurthy
Age: 77
Profession: Novelist, literary critic, professor
High pursuits: Translating German poets Brecht and Rilke; protesting against the Kudremukh mining Photo: Roy Sanai

AT 77, acclaimed novelist Udupi Rajagopalacharya Ananthamurthy still feels a ‘moment of emptiness’ when he sits down to write, but remains in awe of Kannada – the lingua franca that put him on the literary map. The difference now is that what starts off as an essay might end up in a short story or a poem. It fits in with the ‘systematic, yet spontaneous’ life he leads now, complete with morning walks, time spent with close friends and grandchildren and, yes, even the occasional drink despite his doctor’s advice. He does credit his active life to his wife, who “has nagged him into a healthy person” and kept him alive.