A writer's mind on display

A writer's mind on display

Museum in Ankola

Everyday items from the past on display at the museum curated by Vishnu Naik. Photos by author

Known for his literary work and related activities, popular author from Uttara Kannada Vishnu Naik has set up a unique museum in his house, Parimala.  

The museum on the first floor of his house in Ambarakodla, Ankola taluk reflects his nature of undertaking innovative initiatives. 

In the two sections of the museum, one is dedicated to the memory of his mother and is called ‘Avvana Nenapige’. The section contains many native objects that were used in the region through past generations. Most of these objects are not in use anymore. 

Some of these instruments and containers include Bhattada mudi (a spherical container made of paddy straw that is used to store paddy); jars used for pickling; pots used to prepare fish recipes; coconut shells of different sizes; oil lamps; leaf plates (patravali); water containers, vessels used to store jaggery and other kitchen items. The museum, which houses over 100 items, also includes chennemane (an indoor game); traditional fishing instruments and gramophones. 

Also in the museum are 84 books that the 77-year-old author has written and the 200 odd books that he has edited. 

One can also peruse all the works of poet Dinakara Desai who was known for his chutukus (quadruplet poems). Desai, who hailed from the region, was called Chutukubrahma.

Among the exhibits are ones that can chronicle various landmark moments from Karnataka’s history, right from the Karnataka Ekikarana Movement and leaders of the movement. Details of various people who have contributed to Kannada literature attracts literary enthusiasts and academicians.  

In another section, a rare collection of letters from famous writers to Vishnu Naik is on display. These letters provide a glimpse into the issues, dialogues and debates over the past four decades. Letters of writers from Navodaya, Bandaya and contemporary eras provide a snapshot of their views. 

Authors who have written letters to Vishnu Naik include V K Gokak, Gourish Kaikini, Yeshwant Chittala, U R Ananthamurthy, Chennaveera Kanavi, Chandrashekhara Kambara and Siddalinga Pattanashetty.

Raghavendra Prakashana, a publishing house run by Vishnu Naik, is located just next to the museum. The publication has brought out around 300 books in five decades. The museum stands as a testimony to the region’s history, culture and literature.

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