A small village near Jamkhandi town, 68 kms away from Bagalkote resides Kalhalli – A commune of celebration and neighbourhood of love.
Setting aside, the inconvenience of life, the people of Kalhalli have simplified their existence with a sense of joy, in the work they do. One can nestle himself amidst the folks here and become one with them. The charm of this village helps one discover the clarity of togetherness and bliss by just following Satyakama’s family and accompanying them in their chores. The following photo essay tries to nuance our sensibilities towards the cultural manifestations of the serene agrarian and rural segments of our society.
As Satyakama to his literary comrades, as Appayya to family and folks – Ananthachar Krishnachar Shahapur, a freedom fighter during the independence movement and as a writer rest of his life, started and ended his journey as a farmer here in Kalhalli, just after the independence. He is now survived by a brother, sister-in-law and their son–Pavan Shahapur.
The mercury levels in the regions of North Karnataka shoots so high that it leaves behind the farmers with nothing but these barren lands, causing havoc in their lives.
Fighting all odds, The Satyakama family’s bread is gained through crops like maize, jowar, groundnuts, sugarcane etc. Pictured here is sugarcane, as it is seasonal time for the farmers to send their cane for crushing in the month of December.
Pavan Sahpur, the head of the family guides workers with the scientific processes of cultivation. Yammunappa here is seen doing his routine task of spraying medicine to the grape farm, which requires & demands utmost care.
Shrimantiyavva left her home at the age of 12 and came to work the Satyakama’s family. She is like the life line of the family when it comes to daily chores.
Morning sunshine highlights the newly growing bunch of Grenache blanc.
Satyakama, known more as a writer and a philosopher had rare books on Tantra shelved in his library.
The staple food of this region is Bhakri. A bread of sort, made out of jowar (Sorghum millet). The folks here feast on their delicacy as Shrimantiyavva’s easily makes 60 to 70 rottis in a day.
Every day evening mega blues! The family and the folks sit together to watch Kannada soap operas every evening.
Dried chillies take a prominent place in the North Karnataka cuisine. One of the well-known daily preparations is Ranjaka- A red chilli chutney known to go well with bhakris.
Satyakama’s journey was not alone. He was supported by his close friend Gururaj Habbu, who was equally responsible for the family’s well being. 95 year old, Habbu still has his charms and rules just back at hand.
Helping hand at the hard times. The newly built lake by the Satyakama family provides the whole neighbouring farms with source of life at the time, when there is shortage of water.
The legend says that deity of Tirumala is supposed to have taken his seat in the village of Kalhalli, after an ailing couple requested for his grace and love. The deity holds a special place in the villager’s belief.
Literary canon, philosophical thinker, farmer, teacher, freedom fighter, journalist- Satyakama revered by all as Appayya breathed his last on the day of Deepavali in the year 1998.
The legacy continues, as Vasant Shahapur awaits to welcome his grandson after listening to the happy news from the city.