Monday, March 15, 2010

Vinda Karandikar's passing

A sad note today in the Authoritative Annals of Nonsensifaction: Vinda Karandikar, a celebrated Marathi poet, critic, translator, and, of course, occasional nonsense writer, passed away yesterday. I met him years ago when I was doing research for The Tenth Rasa, when he was kind enough to receive me and Anushka Ravishankar to talk about his work. I recall one amusing and telling moment from our visit... After being seated in his parlor, we told him we were there to discuss the nonsense verse he had written. He immediately made a face and told us, to our surprise, that he didn't write any. When he left the room briefly his wife leaned in, conspiratorily, and told us that of course he wrote nonsense verse. That day, we learned a thing or two not just about him, but about how nonsense literature is perceived, even by practitioners of it. When he returned he became much more cheerful, and he even waved to us from the balcony as we walked away from his building--something I learned later was not a common occurrence. He was happy to have several of his pieces translated (masterfully, by Anita Vaccharajani) and included in our anthology.

Tonight, the Nuppiter Pifkins will murble in mouring...