VeyiPadagalu a Review:
Veyipadagalau can be viewed as another Dharma Sastra. I cannot call it abridged Dharma Sastra as it is a huge volume and is larger in size. It may be a practical guide to Dharma Sastra.
It is impossible to list down all the characters in Veyi padagalu. I will list down few.
He is the key character around whom story revolves. He is a Brahmin and son Rama Sastry (who acted as minister to Jamindar family). Dharma Rao is an embodiment of Dharma. He is a scholar and follows dharma in it spirit. He loses his father when he is young and studies with assistance of old Jamindar Krishnama Naidu. After Naidu’s death his studies were sponsored by Naidu’s Wife. Naidu’s Son Ranga Rao assumes imaginary rivalry with Dharma Rao and defies tradition by not appointing Dharma Rao as his minister. Dharma Rao studies well and works as lecturer in local college. He enlightens many of his students like Harappa Naidu, Girika, Mangamma and Kumara Swamy. He fights with many like Radhapathi by upholding traditional values.
She is wife of Dharma Rao. She learns some knowledge from Dharma Rao. Dharma Rao and Arundhati pair show by practice how wife and husband should be with each other. She supports Dharma Rao in his times of trouble and provides him a friend, mother, guide and a wife in a single body.
He is the Jamindar heir who defies the authority of the Brahmin family who laid foundation for their history. He assumes rivalry with Dharma Rao and does not help him in his problems. Evne though he did not create any problems for Dharma Rao he by ignoring his duties of King hurts Dharma Rao. He appoints all unfit people in his court and thus ruins him self as well the Zameen. He remarries two English ladies after wife’s death and when he falls ill all those around his betray him. He realizes in the end about greatness of Dharma Rao. Only good deed he does that helps in his transformation is to let his son Harappa Naidu taught by Dharma Rao. He quotes "Harappa is Rama and Dharma Rao is Apara Vasista"
He is is son of Ranga Rao. If Dharma Rao is Krishna then Harappa is Arjuna. Harappa lives for a short duration he takes over the responsibility when Ranga Rao falls ill and does revival of old glory. His main ambition was to revive the tradition by performing marriage of Lord Venugopala and he dies soon after he achieves it. Ranga Rao quotes about his son after his death that "I am not his father, he is my father"
He helps in transformation of Ranga Rao by impeaching all evil fellows those surround his father. Dharma Rao’s aim of revival of traditions is achieved through Harappa Naidu.
Dharma Rao’s sister. Even though not born to same mother; father is same for her, Dharma Rao, Rama Raju and Pasirika. Dharma Rao has great affection for her and used to teach her glories of Lord even though she belongs to devadasi caste. It is through her he achieves the second aim ie., development of Bhakti and she attains Moksha by devoting herself to Lord Venugopala.
Evil fellow who develops hatred towards Dharma Rao and tries to ruin him. The evil deeds of him were unlimited. He is primarily responsible for depletion of Dharma during Ranga Rao’s regime. He develops sexual feelings towards Girika and when Dharma Rao protects her he develops rivalry with him. He ruins wife of a school teacher named Mangamma by bribing her for money and taking her innocence to his advantage.
He is also responsible for death of innocent husband of Mangamma. He creates all sorts of problems to Dharma Rao including Financial problems. Ultimately he gets deserved punishment when he was caught for unlawful printing of currency notes and betrayal from Mangamma. Writer portrays here that evil may enjoy success for sometime but it gets deserved punishment in the end.
An innocent Brahmin wife who falls for money and ruins life herself. She snatches all wealth from Ramanatham and betrays him in the end. She then stays with another evil fellow named Radhapathi. She tranforms herself in the end by the learnings she had from Dharma Rao. She gives all her wealth to Kumara Swamy. She meets a tragic Manghamma’s story depicts the karma philosophy of Hinduism. Karma Philosophy states that you will get the fruits of your actions sooner or later. Mangamma cheated her husband and is indirectly responsible for his death. Even though she transforms herself into a good human being after her association with kumara swamy and Dharma Rao, she still had to face a miserable death as a fruit of bad deeds she has done.
The snake is one key character in the novel. It is a snake with thousand heads and novel gets its name from the same. With disruption of each and every dharma snakes loses all its heads and finally has only two heads. Only Dharma Rao was able to see the real snake. Once Ranga Rao sees the snake in a dream in furious mood and bites him. Most part of novel snake remains with two heads each representing Dharma Rao and Arundhati. In the end Dharma Rao says inviting his new wife Arundhati into his life "This is the strength of my nation/race" Here he alludes to marriage is the only institution that has remained in the end even after all the other dharma’s are tarnished. I guess Writer has the intention to portray that despite all these transformations in the society at least marriage is remaining in full strength.
He is a student of Dharma Rao and who imbibes all traits of his teacher. He is a pet child of Magamma and inherits her property as well after her death. His wife Syamala is a good partner and the pair supplies good humor to the novel.
Jr. Rama Satry and Jr. Harappa:
Jr Rama Sastry is son of Dharma Rao and has same name a s his Grand Father। He is a smart kid and impresses Ranga Rao better than his father. Ranga Rao quotes "I don’t know about Dharma Rao but I know about his son. His son will grow up to become a better man than his father." Ranga Rao after transformation adopts a kid and names him as a Harappa (name of his deceased son) and get them education by having Kumara Swamy as teacher.
A great work always differentiates itself from ordinary by the impression it makes on the reader. I left my writing vocation after reading Veyipadagalu as I felt any book that is not worth the same class as Veyi padagalu is a waste of reader’s time. On a second thought I felt like a book should not only convey entertainment but it should convey knowledge. The reader should become a better man after reading the book. In order to do this I need to learn lot of things before writing. A complete novel of class Veyipadagalu was dictated by Viswanatha while playing cards and in 28 days he completed 1000 full pages. (This is the only occasion I felt playing cards is not a bad vocation) Lectures given by Dharma Rao are doses of knowledge for the reader. I think Dharma Rao embodies Viswanatha himself. He is so called Kavi Samrat. (King of all poets)