Featured: Triveni Page 2 of 2
She is often likened to the English novelist Jane Austen. It is pertinent here to remember the help rendered to Triveni by C. K. Vasudeva Rao, who was then a Psychologist at the Mental Asylum. He not only presented to her many a case history which she later chronicled as novellas (‘Mucchida Bagilu’), but on one occasion facilitated Triveni to spend nearly two hours ‘locked up’ in the asylum with some of the inmates. As it happened, one of the elderly female inmates walked up to Triveni, recognised her by name and confessed to having read her writings! She then placed a mat and invited Triveni to sit on it and then started relating to Triveni her own novel, which the inmate recollected rather vividly having read before! Triveni later recollected this incident to be a very surreal but unnerving incident and lamented on how an apparently educated literate lady had ended up being locked up in an asylum after losing her sanity.
Triveni’s writings got her recognition far and wide. Her novel “Samasyeya Magu” won the Devaraja Bahadur Award in 1962. The novel “Avala Mane” received the Karnataka Sahitya Akademi Award in 1960. Posthumously, she was awarded the ‘Karnataka Motion Picture Award’ in 1974 – 75 for the best Kannada movie story wright (Kankana). Her writings have been translated into many languages and have reached a far wider readership than otherwise possible. S. M. Ramaswamy has translated her novels “Apasvara” and “Apajaya” into Hindi. “Sharapanjara” was translated as “The Mad Woman” by Meera Narvekar into English. Triveni’s husband Shankar translated few of her novels into English and often converted them into plays. “Bekkina Kannu” was translated into Telugu by Sharvani. One of her short stories ‘Athithi Baralilla’ was published in an Urdu paper in Pakistan. Several of her novels were adapted to the screen and won critical acclaim. Among the novels which came onto the screen were “Bellimoda” (1970), “Sharapanjara” (1971), “Mukthi”, “Hoovu Hannu” (1993), “Hennele Chiguridaga” (1968), “Bekkina Kannu” (1966) [in Malayalam by Puttanna Kanagal] and “Kankana”. “Apasvara”, “Apajaya” & “Avala Mane” were adapted for the small screen and were received quite well by a home audience.
Triveni had an affectionate childhood, good education and loving marriage. Her novels were widely read and held in high esteem by the discerning public.
Movies based on her works
1 Sep. 1928
29 Jan 1963
Maharaja College, Mysore
Portrayal of plight of women in Indian Society, Feminine Psychology and Kannada Novels and Short Stories many of which were made into popular movies of the art genre.
"Devaraja Bahadur Award"
"Karnataka Sahitya Akademi Award"
"Karnataka Motion Picture Award"
“Bekkina Kannu” (1966)
Movies brought much needed publicity for her writing. Awards came her way in recognition of her talents. But, on a personal front, Triveni had a void she could never fill. Motherhood evaded her for a long time. Successive miscarriages spelt disaster to much awaited pregnancies. This eventually took a toll on her mental state. The prospect of waiting in dear anticipation, only to be left wanting at the end, proved mentally exhausting by the second time around. Expectedly, Triveni was able to successfully find a vent for these pent up emotions through her pen. Her novel “Athithi Baralilla” (Eng: Guest did not arrive) is the result of this experience and it was to be one of her finest. She finally had a daughter (Meera) from her third pregnancy on 19th July, 1963.
Triveni & her
Days after the delivery, Triveni passed away on 29 July, 1963 due to maternal complications (Pulmonary Embolism). She was thirty five years old!
Her house (at least over a century old), situated opposite the Tennis Club on Chamarajapuram Railway Station Road in Mysore was in the process of being converted into a museum in her memory. To quote Austen – ….“Happiness in marriage is entirely a matter of chance”….. How true indeed! Triveni remains immortal in the hearts and minds of her readers (and filmgoers) who cannot help but relate their own lives with those of her characters who leap out of her pages with a sense of vividness and realism that only she could muster. May we see more of her ilk in the future.
1)Biographical Sketch of Triveni by S. V. Vimala
2)Gracious inputs from Triveni’s daughter Meera (via email)
Samples of Triveni's Handwriting