Creativity is Key to Writing, Says Renowned Author S.L. Bhyrappa

The 94-year-old Bhyrappa, a distinguished figure in Indian literature, drew a large crowd of Pune residents eager to hear him.
S.L. Bhyrappa
S.L. Bhyrappa

Pune: "Travel, study, and research contribute to the truthfulness of writing, but they only make up about ten percent of the content. Ninety percent of writing stems from the author's creativity and imagination. These qualities must be innate in a writer," said veteran author S.L. Bhyrappa on Wednesday. He added, "Studying literature can make one a professor, but to become a writer, creativity is essential."

Bhyrappa was speaking at an event titled "Five Decades of Writing Journey," organized by the National Book Trust, Pune Book Festival, and Samarth Yuva Foundation.

The 94-year-old Bhyrappa, a distinguished figure in Indian literature, drew a large crowd of Pune residents eager to hear him. Senior translator Uma Kulkarni engaged him in conversation.

On the dais were Dr. Uma Ramrao, a scholar of Bhyrappa’s literature, author Sahana Vijaykumar, member of the Sahitya Akademi Dr. Narendra Pathak, and Rajesh Pandey, organizer of the Pune Book Festival.

Reflecting on his early career, Bhyrappa remarked, "In the Kannada literary community, critics initially influenced by English literature criticized my work. However, I continued to write from an Indian perspective, as I am an Indian and my thoughts are Indian. I studied philosophy and even taught it for a while, but literature became my true calling.

The philosophy I studied is reflected in my writings, making them rich in meaning. Despite criticism from critics, readers have always supported me." When asked about his favorite works, he replied, "My most profound book is 'Parva' and my finest work is 'Mandra'."

Speaking on the destruction of temples in India, Bhyrappa criticized Islam, saying, "Since idol worship is forbidden in Islam, Muslim invaders destroyed temples. The religion teaches conversion of non-believers. Until Muslims reform these fundamental religious concepts, true secularism cannot be achieved."

Sahana Vijaykumar, who transitioned from a career in IT to writing, credited Bhyrappa’s guidance for her flourishing literary journey. Dr. Uma Ramrao shared anecdotes about the dedication behind Bhyrappa’s writing and his meticulous approach to research.

Boundary Disputes are Election Gimmicks

"Though I am a Marathi writer, I write in Kannada," Bhyrappa quipped, acknowledging the love he has received from Marathi readers. He criticized politicians for inflaming boundary disputes between Karnataka and Maharashtra for electoral gains. "These regions are culturally rich and share deep bonds," he noted.

No Gender Disparity in Art

"There is no distinction between male and female in the realms of art and knowledge. Writers should not confine themselves within the boundaries of being male or female, nor should they distinctly think of their characters as male or female," Bhyrappa advised.

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