T. P. Kailasam
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29 July 1886|
Mysore , India
Bangalore, Karnataka, India
Thyagaraja Paramasiva Kailasam (1884–1946), was a playwright and prominent writer of Kannada literature. His contribution to Kannada theatre comedy earned him the title Prahasana Prapitamaha, "the father of humorous plays" and later he was also called as "Kannadakke Obbane Kailasam" meaning "One and Only Kailasam for Kannada".
Kailasam was born in a Tamil family in southern Karnataka, India. His father, T. Paramasiva Iyer, was employed as munsif in the Mysore state service and progressed to become the Chief Justice of the Mysore High Court. His father's brother was the Madras High Court judge, Sir T. Sadasiva Iyer.
Kailasam had a good education in his youth and was sponsored by the Maharaja of Mysore to study geology in London. Enjoying his life there, Kailasam repeated several classes in order to have an excuse to extend his stay in England. He spent a total of six years in school there, participating in theatre whenever possible.
Soon after his return, he joined the government geology service. He took his work seriously and did well, but became unimpressed with life in a government job and quit to write plays and live a bohemian life. His father had ambitious plans for Kailasam, hoping that he would become the Director General of the Geology Department. He was disappointed in his son and stopped talking to him.
His life was dedicated to local theater and his contributions revolutionised it. His application of humor to his plays left an impression on Kannadigas. He opposed the company theatre's obsession with mythology and stories of royalty and shied away from overloading his plays with music. Instead, he introduced simple, realistic sets. Kailasam chaired the Kannada Sahitya Sammelana held at Madras in 1945. His speech was short but effective. He spent almost 10 years of his life in a place he called 'NOOK'. It was a very dirty place, yet he loved it and wrote many dramas in there. He was good at talking to people and was always surrounded by friends. He would dictate stories to his students at the 'NOOK' usually starting after 10 pm and going on up to late in the morning. He was well known as 'Chain smoker' among his friends. He lived a very simple life despite the fact that he spent many years in a foreign land.
Kailasam was initially criticised for modern use of the Kannada language in his plays, but his work became popular and are considered among the best in Kannada theatre, legendary for their wit and satirical commentary on society, much of which is still relevant today.
- The Brahmin's Curse
- Rao, L. S. Seshagiri (984). T.P Kailasam. Sahitya Akademi. pp. 1–8.