This Life at Play: Memoirs
Book: This Life at Play: Memoirs
Written by: Girish Karnad.
Translated by: Girish Karnad and Srinath Perur
Published by: Fourth Estate, 2021
This Life at Play, is the English translation of Aadaadta Aayushya written in Kannada. The translation is done partly by the writer Girish Krarnad himself and Srinath Perur. The book covers the first half of Karnad’s life – from his childhood in Sirsi, his early engagement with local theatre, his education in Dharwad, Bombay and Oxford, his career in publishing, his successes and travails in the film industry, and his personal and writerly life. Though the book deals with varied aspects of Girish Karnad’s life, his involvement with theatre remains the focal point of this narrative. Aadaadta Aayushya is not just an account of personal events, but also a document of Indian realities in that period and the placement of arts within those realities.
“In the existentialist view, god too is a character. His relationship with man is one of the main problems it explores. When I read about Muhammad Tughlaq, I was immediately drawn to two aspects of his life. The first was that, despite being the most brilliant sultan to sit on the throne of Delhi, he came to be regarded as ‘mad’ by both his contemporaries and by posterity. The other was that, for nearly five years of his reign, he had forbidden public prayer. I remember my hair standing on end when I read about this. At the time, I considered myself an atheist, and I believed Tughlaq’s astonishing move must have arisen from his own atheism. As I learnt more about him, I began to realize that it had its origins in his struggles with religion. It was no simple matter to keep faith in god. It was more of a hard penance.”(Page 350-351)