Kalki Krishnamurthy

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The thunderstorm is a constant phenomenon, raging alternately over some part of the world or the other. Can a single man or creature escape death if all that charge of lightning strikes the earth?

R. Krishnamurthy (9 September 18995 December 1954) was a South Indian author who lived in Tamil Nadu. He wrote in Tamil under various pseudonyms, but became most famous using the name Kalki, evoking a prophesied avatar of Vishnu.

Quotes[edit]

Even after killing ninety nine tigers the Maharaja should beware of the hundredth.
You should be glad that the government has provided for chain and bangles at their own expense, why are you feeling so bad about it?
  • There are many evils in this country. The only remedy for every one of them is freedom for the nation.
    • "The Poison Cure", as translated by Gowri Ramnarayan in Kalki : Selected Stories (1999)
  • Even after killing ninety nine tigers the Maharaja should beware of the hundredth.
    • "The TIger King" as translated by Gowri Ramnarayan in Kalki : Selected Stories (1999)

Sivakozhundu of Tiruvazhundur (1939)[edit]

"Tiruvazhundur Sivakozhundu" in Ananda Vikatan (1939), as translated by Gowri Ramnarayan in Kalki : Selected Stories (1999)
  • It is natural for a train to run on its tracks. We get into a train because we believe that it will do that. But once in a while the train runs off the rails, and there’s an accident. Those who don’t actually witness such a happening can say, “No train will run off the rails, it is unnatural for it to do so”.
  • Listen, You can hear the thunder. Ten cracks in the last five minutes. The thunderstorm is a constant phenomenon, raging alternately over some part of the world or the other. Can a single man or creature escape death if all that charge of lightning strikes the earth? No. And therefore it is natural for thunder to crash, and only in the skies. But once in a long while lightning does strike the earth. Then, instead of killing its victim outright, it snatches his eyes away. Swami, would you say this is a natural phenomenon, or that it is against nature?
  • If it is natural for lightning to strike the earth, why doesn’t it strike each and every one of us? Why does it not blind us all?

Quotes about Krishnamurthy[edit]

The reason for his taking "Kalki" as a pen name was based on the myth of the "Kalki Avataram" (the final incarnation of Lord Vishnu, in the age of Kali). Through his writings, he wanted to bring about change in this age. ~ K Anandhi
Kalki introduced healthy humour as against the dull and the vulgar. His humour does not hurt anybody and so makes everybody laugh. ~ R. Dhandayudham,
  • Generally, Kalki’s writings are well received by the people. There are two reasons for this. One thing is there will be humour in all his essays. Even in the saddest situation he will find something funny. … There was something very interesting about his writings. Writing the way he did, was something very great at that time, because there were no precedents to his writing style. Neither to his style or genre nor to the way the magazine was written. People talk about it even now. They say there is nothing that Kalki has not done, there is nothing left to be done. There is no scope of starting something new. Because, Kalki had experimented with everything, when it comes to the world of magazines... be it short stories, essays, cartoons, travelogues... he went to Sri Lanka in the 1930s and wrote a travelogue on Sri Lanka. People there were fanatical about Kalki. He was very popular there.
    Even when he used to deliver a speech somewhere, it used to be full of humor. So people never used to allow him to speak first at any function. Because once he is through with his talk, the audience will walk away. So he used to invariably deliver only the vote of thanks. Even that used to be so funny, people used to be literally rolling on the floor.
  • Three reasons can be cited for the phenomenal success of Kalki's novels. First of all, he possessed in abundance the gift of story-telling. Secondly, he introduced healthy humour in his writings. And lastly, he threw light upon the cultural and social aspects of this country as well as the current time.
  • Like the great European novelists of the 19th century, Kalki was a master of striking scenes and episodes. With some of the burning patriotic fervour of a Bankim Chandra and a Hari Narayan Apte, something too of the humour of Dickens and the gift of portraiture of a Thackeray Kalki spread out his novels in impressive sequence. Very often he is compared with Dickens and Thackeray for his sense of humour and his gift of portraiture respectively.
    • K.R. Srinivasa Iyangar, in "Kalki", The Indian PEN, Vol. XXI, No. 3 (March 1955), p. 78

External links[edit]

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