E.R. RAMACHANDRAN writes: Recently, Mysoreans were treated to the grand spectacle of an elephant carrying an ‘epic’ work by one of the contemporary authors.
Escorted by great writers and officials of the Kannada Sahitya Parishat, the elephant majestically strode the avenues of Mysore carrying the heavy tome.
It reminded spectators of “Balarama” carrying the 750 kg golden howda during jambu savari. We don’t know the condition of the elephant after carrying the ‘epic’ volume on its shoulders.
Maneka Gandhi would have come running to Mysore, frothing, had she known beforehand of such an earthshaking event. History doesn’t record whether Homer was given a similar honour for his Greek epics Iliad or Odyssey.
For that matter our own Kuvempu seemed to have missed the bus, er, the elephant, for his Ramayana Darshana!
We don’t even know whether, sage Vyasa’s Mahabharatha was given an elephant ride. Had he wished, Indra from Amaravathy could have easily arranged his ‘Airavatha’ to carry the tome. All the other ‘writers’ of that time like Ganesha, Kumaraswamy, Narayana, Narada et al would have joined in the procession.
Likewise, Valmiki also seems to have missed a similar honour for his Ramayana. It is fairly certain Hanumantha would have definitely offered to carry the Ramayana on his shoulders on the streets of Ayodhya.
What price modesty?