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Hema (An Old and Rare Book)

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Hema (An Old and Rare Book)
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Item Code: NAX422
Author: Kunjapur Nigamantha Gopalan
Language: English
Edition: 1993
ISBN: 8172760353
Pages: 609
Other Details: 8.50 X 5.50 inch
weight of the book: 0.75 kg
About the Book
This is not a book on the Art and Science of Indian classical Music and Dance. This is a novel based on the lives of practising artists, ardently involved in spreading the flavour and fragrance of these enduring Fine Arts. The theme of the novel revolves round young Hema who, besides being beautiful and vivacious, is robustly optimistic of her art Bharatnatyam becoming a sure medium to glorify Indian culture within her country and abroad. Destiny takes her to London where her admirer Philip, himself a great painter and sculptor, inspires her to rise to dizzy heights.

About the Author
Shri Kunjapur Nigamanta Gopalan attained the Lotus Feet of the Lord on April 13, 1994, at 6.25 a.m., after a brief illness, at B.M. Hospital, Mysore. He is survived by his wife, Smt. Kamala Gopalan, two sons and a daughter.

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.

The Indian novel in English seems to have come of age over a period of almost a century. Creative writing is no longer the preserve of a coterie of English professors. Today, it may be a doctor or an engineer or an industrialist who writes fiction; and we have also a wide readership cutting across classes. In this age of T.V. and movies, popular taste has sunk to an all-time low and cheap fiction helps in further deterioration. The classics can well be looked upon as treasuries of human values and guides to human life but this cannot be said of the bulk of writing today. Literary criticism itself is becoming curiouser and curiouser in its frenzy for revaluation of values. Against this background, the appearance of an exceptional novel like Hema by K.N. Gopalan is like a new bright star swimming into one's ken, particularly of a student of life and letters like me. Though fiction is not exactly my cup of tea, I am glad that I have, had an opportunity of reading Hema.

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.

Book's Contents and Sample Pages

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