When the whole Karnataka state is celebrating the birthday of legendary poet Kuvempu on December 29, search engine giant Google has joined the party using Kannada script in Google Doodle for the first time on its India homepage, breaking its tradition.
Originally named Kuppali Venkatappa Puttappa, Kuvempu is a critically acclaimed novelist and playwright, and among Kannada writers, he was the first to win the prestigious Jnanpith award. In 1988, the Government of India honored him with Padma Vibushan award.
Google has created the Doodle remembering the legendary poet with the help of renowned Illustrator Upamanyu Bhattacharyya. Swati Shelar has helped him with the Kannada lettering.
On Doodle, Google featured Kuvempu's poem, Poovu or "the flower" which proclaims the beauty of our mother earth. Most of the poems written by Kuvempu emphasize the concept of 'Univeral Humanism', and he has also penned Karnataka's state song, "Jaya Bharata Jananiya Tanujate."
Born on December 29, 1904, Kuvempu underwent homeschooling in his early childhood. He joined the middle-schooling in Anglo-Vernacular school, Tirthahalli. Later, he completed his graduation from the Maharaja College, Mysore, majoring in the Kannada language. From then, he worked as an advocate in making Kannada the medium of education in Karnataka, and he also spearheaded a movement for the cause.
It was his modern rendering of Ramayana in Kannada named 'Sri Narayana Darshanam' which made him a Nationally acclaimed figure. Blending contemporary charm in his writing, 'Sri Narayana Darshanam' helped him in winning the prestigious Jnanpith award in the country.
Kuvempu died on November 1, 1994, at the age of 89. Even after his death, Kuvempu's words and thoughts live in the minds of each and every Kannadiga that it should not come as a surprise when Google too joined them to celebrate the birthday of the iconic writer.