Gundlupete: When you love your language, you don’t need to be a litterateur to spread the fragrance of the language. This is what Kunduru Nataraj is telling the world. A bus conductor by profession, Nataraj has put his bus to the best use to speak about the rich Kannada language.
On Karnataka Rajoyothsava day, what better way to salute the crusader of Kannada language. He has transformed the bus in which he has been deputed as conductor into a chariot and on November 1, which is Kannada Rajyothsava day, he is going to hand pull the chariot at 10 am to celebrate the great day.
The KSRTC bus has been given a complete makeover. On the front portion, words like ‘Kannada Aksharagala Sanchara’ (Journey of Kannada letters) is written while on the rear part ‘Sarvadharmagala Sarige Ratha’ (Chariot of all religions) has been scripted. The Karnataka flag has been donned on the exterior of the bus and inside the bus replicas of Jnanpeet award, pictures of great writers and litterateurs, actors, books, Kannada Sahithya Sammelana Presidents and other achievers have been placed. The map of Karnataka highlighting the main tourist destinations adorns the interior of the bus. A compilation of 675 Kannada songs that proclaim the greatness of Kannada language and Karnataka have been put in place for the travelers to listen and rejoice. Meet Nataraj, the maker of the Kannada Chariot!
Born in Davangere in 1981, Nataraj’s early life was spend in acute poverty. He had to support his family by selling peanuts on the streets at very early age. However, fighting all obstacles he completed his PUC studies and when he was enrolled for his degree studies, he got into KSRTC as a conductor. But, even after joining KSRTC, Nataraj did not give up on his love for Kannada language. He went out of his way to promote the language and today his endeavours are being appreciated by all.
The spirit of Kannada does not die down in Nataraju after Nov 1 and the same is not awakened few days before Nov 1. His service for Kannada happens all 365 days. During his holidays and leisure he visits schools and colleges asking students to celebrate Kannada Rajyothsava in a meaningful way and to kindle the love for the state language.
Nataraj is a write/poet himself and has penned down several limericks. One of his poetrys had bagged an award from Department of Public Instruction.
“No matter where you go, how you live and what you do, make your heart home for Kannada. The way we hang star lights outside our house on Diwali and we let it be there even after the festival is over, on Kannada Rajyothsava day we have to hoist Karnataka flag and let it fly high for the entire month of November,” says Nataraj.
Kudos to the crusader of Kannada who has been doing his bit even when mikes and cameras are not following him!