Theatre stalwart Girish Karnad’s son journalist Raghu Karnad paints the picture of his “appa” as a man who was “gently bubbling with bits of history, legend, song, folktale and philosophy”.
“That was the man I loved,” Raghu said in a moving Instagram post on Thursday, three days after Karnad’s death at the age of 81.
Raghu said both he and his sister Shalmali Radha were at home in Bengaluru when Karnad passed away.
“As many friends have pointed out, he had an immaculate sense of timing. This past weekend, my sister and I were both at home for a friend’s wedding. On Saturday evening, he completed a set of audio interviews with (translator-author) Arshia Sattar.
“On Sunday evening, the family sat together warmed by the long lines of sun on the terrace. I gave him his physio and my sister cut his nails. We talked about some new, difficult issues with his body. It was sad, but not only sad. On Monday morning he was gone,” he wrote.
Raghu said it was difficult to pen a tribute for Karnad, a multilingual multi-hyphenate personality.
“… It’s felt like a tribute to Appa that the house and my mind have been swirling with languages; Konkani, Kannada, Tamil, Malayalam, English, Hindi, without much incomprehension.”
He said the family is thankful for all the love and gratitude that has poured in from people whose life Karnad touched.
“Thank you for the many messages about how you felt enriched by his life and work. The reverse is also true. His life and work were enriched and elevated by gurus and professors, aunts and sisters, friends, collaborators, directors, students, publishers, actors, readers, rivals, aides, some very important drivers and many drinking companions.
“In his last few weeks and even hours I heard many of those names. Thank you all for building up the extraordinary person he was,” Raghu wrote.