C. P. Belliappa's Column

Jai Ho, Jaya Appanna

“Over the centuries the great Indian epic Mahabharata has been translated into many languages all over the world. We now have one in our own ‘Kodava thakk’, thanks to meticulous and painstaking efforts of Mandira Jaya Appanna.

On the face of it, it may seem like yet another translation of the monumental work of that great sage – Veda Vyasa – who composed it several centuries ago. But this is no ordinary translation undertaken by Jaya Appanna.

The epic has been translated in the verse form which is a highly commendable feat. It is not an easy task to choose the right words and retain the metre of the verse. It must have been a Herculean effort to translate the 18 parvas consisting of 18600 lines of verse into Kodava thakk using the Kannada script. Jaya Appanna took 12 long years to complete this magnum opus. The duration reflects the 12 years of vanvas of the Pandavas, though for Jaya Appanna it must have been a highly fulfilling experience.

The real originality in this translation, which is highly praiseworthy, is the fact that Jaya Appanna has not merely translated the epic but has given it a strong Kodava flavour.

She has very ingeniously woven Kodava traditions, Kodava cuisine, Kodava attire, Kodava festivals, Kodava deities, Kodava marriage customs, and landscape of Kodagu, into this epic.

This ingenuity makes the translation very interesting, because for the reader an impression is given that the age-old story of Pandavas and Kauravas took place in Kodagu! This is the uniqueness of this tome, and it clearly brings out the creative genius of Jaya Appanna. “