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Samskara: A Rite For A Dead Man is a religious novel about a deteriorating Brahmin colony in the south Indian village of Karnataka.
Summary Of The Book
Samskara analyzes the caste system, religious rules, culture, and traditions and also the uncertain relationship between traditional cultural values and the new values of the modern world. It also goes deeper into the moral and philosophical issues about how one can lead a righteous life, the legality of customs, and the Brahminism concept in a modern world.
The novel starts with the death of a member belonging to an orthodox clan of Brahmins who do not follow the established customs. Naranappa is the disreputed person of the agrahara (Brahmin settlement) who offends the whole community by indulging in forbidden things like wine and women, and meat-eating. When he dies without a heir nobody from the brahmin community agrees to perform his last rites due to the fear of disgracing their caste. For getting a solution, they take the problem to Praneshacharya, the most revered person of the Agrahara.
Praneshacharya does a detailed and prolonged search of the scriptures without success. Then he retires for meditating in the Maruti temple hoping for God's guidance for disposing the body. For solving the problem the Brahmins seek help from a colony in the neighbourhood and later, a monastery. Meanwhile, there is a break out of plague in the agrahara due to Naranappa's rotting corpse. Praneshacharya becomes frustrated due to his inability to arrive at a decision. As he staggers out of the temple he sees Chandri, the low-caste mistress of Naranappa and has an affair with her. This incident is a turning point in Praneshacharya’s life. Meanwhile his wife dies due to the plague. He cremates his wife and then leaves the agrahara not able to confront the people who had respected him until then as a learned teacher.
Samskara has been adapted into a movie.
About U. R. Ananthamurthy
Udupi Rajagopalacharya Ananthamurthy was born on December 21, 1932. He is a contemporary critic and writer in the Kannada language and is considered as one among the pioneers of the Navya movement.
His popular novels include Bharathipura, Bhava, Divya, Avasthe, and Stallion of The Sun And Other Stories. Besides English and Kannada, he has also written in Hindi and Marathi. He has written poems too.
Ananthamurthy’s novels have much to do with the psychological aspects of people in different circumstances.
Ananthamurthy is popular among Indian authors. He has Master’s degree in Arts from the University of Mysore and a doctorate from the University of Birmingham titled, Politics And Fiction in the 1930’s. He has written over two dozen books in Kannada, including five novels. Translations of many of these are available in English and other Indian as well as European languages. He has received Padma Bhushan and Jnanpith awards. He has served as vice-chancellor of Mahatma Gandhi University, chairman of National Book Trust India, and also as the president of Sahitya Akademi. He is a visiting professor to many renowned Indian and foreign universities, and is currently the chairman of the Film and Television Institute of India. Quite a few of his books have been made into movies. He is married to Esther and has two children. He lives in Bangalore.
|Author||U. R. Ananthamurthy|
|Publisher||Oxford University Press|
|Number of Pages||143 Pages|
First ... when I was 13 years old, I had seen the movie based on this Novel. My age was handicap and could not grasp ABC of the film. But, when I read, SAMSKARA, it was just AWFUL. KUDOS to Shri U R Anathamurthy for tellin a tale of a hypocrat community so well. Even after reading the book, Praneshcharya and Narayanappa keep haunting your mind. Thanks to Shri U R Ananthamurthy, A Jnanapeeta Awardee for such a beautiful novel. Hope all his works are transalated in English.
It was very nice read. Totally stands on its title. Written in old days, but has relevance in today's world. A story which keeps you engaged. You can not take sides of any character. How situations make them behave is just fantastic. 'Samskara' has many meanings and all of them are explored in this novel. Do read afterword by Ramanujan. Good service from flipkart.
An excellent writing work from the author, The story a class apart. This book is worth a reading as an award winning movie is in place already based on this book.I thank flipkart for the prompt services.