The Literary City

Celestial by Abhay K And 10 Indian Languages by Karthik Venkatesh

March 06, 2024 Explocity Podcasts Season 4 Episode 74
The Literary City
Celestial by Abhay K And 10 Indian Languages by Karthik Venkatesh
Show Notes Chapter Markers

In this episode of The Literary City, we embark on a journey with two distinguished guests—each bringing a unique perspective to our exploration of literature and language.

Abhay K, a poet-diplomat, and the author of "Celestial," a poetic masterpiece comprising 100 couplets that intricately weave the enchanting tales of the 88 constellations in our galaxy. Abhay's journey into the realm of poetry was sparked by a mesmerising night beneath the southern skies during his tenure as the Indian ambassador to Madagascar. His book "Celestial" stands as a testament to the wondrous inspiration found in the cosmos, beautifully complemented by illustrations from the renowned 10th-century Persian astronomer, Abd al-Rahman al-Sufi, known as Azophi in the West. Through his return to our show, we anticipate delving deeper into the celestial wonders that continue to captivate both poet and audience alike.

Later in the popular segment WHAT'S THAT WORD—with co-host Pranati  “P with an A” Madhav—we are joined by Karthik Venkatesh, an Executive Editor at Penguin and the author of the enlightening book "10 Indian Languages And How They Came To Be." Karthik's book is a trove of knowledge, with each page resembling a rich chapter brimming with insights into the origins and evolution of Indian languages. What strikes me the most about Karthik's work is the depth of research—evident from years of accumulated knowledge and experience. As an editor himself, Karthik has skillfully distilled this wealth of information into a concise yet impactful narrative, shedding light on languages both familiar and obscure to India. 

This is an action-packed and intellectually stimulating episode of The Literary City.

Abhay K. is a poet-diplomat, translator, and author of several poetry collections. His poems have appeared in over a hundred literary magazines. His “Earth Anthem” has been translated into over 150 languages. He received the SAARC Literary Award and was invited to record his poems at the Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., in 2018. His translations of Kalidasa’s Meghaduta and Ritusamhara from Sanskrit won him the KLF Poetry Book of the Year Award.

Karthik Venkatesh grew up in Bangalore, speaking Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, English, Dakhani and Hindi. He tried to learn French but failed. He did learn Punjabi though. Once an MBA, he later studied education and taught English and History in a school. He now edits for a living and writes whenever the fancy strikes him. Karthik lives in Bangalore. On weekday mornings, he often runs. On weekends, he naps.

Buy Celestial:

Buy 10 Indian Languages:

The similarities between Brahui in Pakistan and Tamil:

Co-host Pranati Madhav "Pea" joins Ramjee Chandran in the fun etymology segment, "WHAT'S THAT WORD?!" where they discuss the word “PATOIS”.

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WHAT'S THAT WORD?! feat. Karthik Venkatesh