Ideas in ink
Mosaic Literary Association celebrated its arrival on the Telugu literary scene in 2003 with the complete translation of TS Eliot’s ‘The Waste Land’,...
Mosaic Literary Association celebrated its arrival on the Telugu literary scene in 2003 with the complete translation of TS Eliot’s ‘The Waste Land’, by Rama Teertha. Although earlier poets like Bairagi had attempted it in parts, the lengthy poem, known to be one of the foundational poems of the modern world poetry remained untranslated into Telugu till then. The venue was Hotel Meghalaya, and the programme was ‘A Day With TS Eliot’. Poets K Siva Reddy, Addepalli Rama Mohana Rao, Gutala Krishnamurthy, and a literary stalwart Chalasani Prasad interacted in different capacities, wherein the poem was presented, discussed and debated with a daylong scholarly audience.
Mosaic Literary Association, has completed 15 years and in this decade and a half, world literature as one quantum of ideas remained the cup of tea, which the literary body shared with friends of literature at ‘Monday Mosaic’, where young and seasoned writers used to meet and interact every Monday. “Every week a tour of World Literature” (Vaaramvaaramvisvasahityaviharam) being the tagline, Mosaic marched, sailed and flew through the creative expanses both traditional and modern. The range of programmes included the release of a high school poetess Nikita Mohan’s penchant at Andhra University Telugu Department, to the celebration of 70 of literary creativity of Ghandikota Brahmaji Rao, a celebrated novelist.
The members have been instrumental in the successful run of Mosaic Literary Association. LR Swami, President, Mosaic, is a multilingual writer and translated south Indian writers like Akkitham Achyuthan Namboodiri, K Sachidanandan, Sethu, Kamala Das, KP Raman Unnni and translated poetry of K Sivareddy, N Gopi, stories of Gurajada, Chaso, Kethu Visvanatha Reddy, Saleem and others into Malayalam. He represented in Sahitya Akademi meets and seminars, and has been chosen to work on a Committee making Telugu-Malayalam dictionary.
Peram Jayaseela Rao, vice chairperson of the group is an academic professional with decades of experience, a poet, and editor of AP Govt religious publication for quite some time. His writings appeared as Bhava Prayaga, are known for reaching out to humanity, underlining the importance of education and self-reliance.
Dr Maturi Srinivas, apart from being a steel plant-based chest physician, is a short story writer, poet and translator. His work of translation of Delhi poets ‘Many voices’ as ‘SvaraDhara’, has earned him good recognition.
Garimella Nagesvara Rao, is faculty at Jawahar Navodaya, a President Medal award winner, and a Telugu Poet with a published poetry anthology ‘Prapamchakshari’. Peri Ravikumar, an associate with scholarly studies, has completed a mammoth work on Telugu prosody, ‘Padya Vidya’, though he calls it humbly a learner of metrical styles, this thousand plus page study is a significant work, in the field of prosody, which forms the foundation to the superstructure of literature.
Young poets like P Rajesh, Kavi Dasu, Singer Devi Sri rally around supporting and adding. Mosaic thus worked with diligence to observe the birth and death of writers like Gurajada, Sri Sri, Chaso, Raavi Sastry, Devulapalli Krishna Sastry, Shakespeare, TS Eliot, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, and interacted with poets in a series of evenings back to back, celebrating modern literature. Blending technology and literature, Mosaic developed many power points on stalwart writers, and on significant occasions, thus created a veritable database for the literary community to use and share, at any time.
Rabindranath Tagore, Kazi Najrul Islam, Aleksander Block, Guillaume Apollinaire, Nijar Quabbani, Otto Reni Castillo, Kazuo Ishiguro and a score of national and international writers were brought into Telugu by Rama Teertha, and more than hundred writers and poets are translated into English in the span of fifteen years.
Ranging from Bhasa’s ancient plays to period classics became the study and research material to deliver many riveting lectures. Celebrating the region, articles of lore like Vizianagaram Fort 300, Janaganamana 100, and Nandoori Enki Songs turning a century old, Gandhian Champaran agitation centennial, etc remained the focus points of Mosaic activities, which were not only shared through media but celebrated as well.
Giving a new edge to the honours and recognitions, Mosaic has initiated Akshara Godavari Awards annually three years ago, and the distinguishing feature is to honour a poet, a fiction writer and a critic, on a single platform, to celebrate the different genres of literature which are intertwined and complementary and remain influential in the eyes of the readers. LR Swami, Addepalli, Datla Devadanam Raju, Vijayachandra, Jayanthi Venkata Ramana, Dvaa. Naa Sastri, Chandu Subbarao, P Anantha Rao, AVR Murthy and Vempalle Shareef were the awardees so far.
Mosaic this year onwards has established Mosaic Sahitya Puraskar and for the first time, the honour will be conferred upon Syed Saleem, a noted Telugu fiction writer, celebrated novelist, and a poet as well, during the Mosaic 15 observations on March 24, 25. A relentless writer with seventeen novels, nine-story anthologies and three books of poetry, to his credit, Saleem has a penchant for contemporary themes and is one of the Telugu writers, who make a theme and plot out of present life, with perseverance and creative skill.
In the new state of AP, the emergence of a cosmopolitan literary group, has been the progress card of the Mosaic and for the present, rendering good novels to stage as AIR plays, bringing traditional strength to the modern drive in the fields of art and literature, using social media, involving young generations as Mosaic Young Minds and appealing them to realise that arts and humanities are the human engineering subjects, making wider usage of digital transformation to good advantage, now form the immediate goals, with quality quest, creative writing, appreciation, analysis and inspiration remaining as always the core perspective of the Mosaic philosophy.
The writer is a founding member of Mosaic Literary Association and is a poet, translator and columnist. Her book of verse ‘Sahacharanam’, brought her awards across the State, and also the AJOVOBHO award in 2017.