Shri K.N. Gopalan was born on May 30, 1924, at Kamireddypalli in Anantapur District of Andhra Pradesh, in a Shrivaishnavite Brahmin family. His parents were Shri Kunjapur Venkatacharya, an Ayurvedic physician, and Smt. Venkatalakshamma. He was the last of four sons and a daughter. His parents, brothers and sister pre-deceased him.
Shri Gopalan's early schooling was at Kurnool and he completed high school education with distinction from Bangalore. He went to St. Joseph's College, Bangalore, for his Intermediate and later to the Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University, for B.Sc.(Tech) from 1944 to 1947. Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, who became President of India later, was then the Vice-Chancellor of the University.
Shri Gopalan was married on February 14, 1949, to Smt. Kamala, the eldest daughter of Shri S. Srinivasachar, a high school headmaster, in the erstwhile Mysore State.
I have read a library of books on Indian culture as an academician. Indian culture is regarded by most as a thing of the past to be preserved in museums and to be studied by specialists. I have met a number of Western tourists who visit India to get glimpses of it. They confound Indian culture with exotic Indian dance-forms, musical programmes and erotic sculptures in temple complexes. Thus the truth about Indian culture remains elusive both to the specialist and itinerant tourist. Sri Gopalan's creative imagination succeeds eminently in capturing the essence of all the fine arts in India as a felicitous means (sadhana) for divine realisation or spiritual emancipation, whether it be a study of scriptures or pursuit of arts like dance, music, sculpture and painting, when enlisted in the service of God. With insight, he has located this sensibility in the sublime heart of a woman; and significantly, the novel has been named after the heroine Hema, who lives and dies for the art of dance.
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