SHISHIR RITU – Winter, Issue No. 101 (Jan-Feb 2022)

Bhakti Literature in Telugu

Bhakti or divine devotion is an important facet of Hinduism – an ancient and ever-evolving way of life. Whatever the ups and downs in the secular life of Indians over the millennia, a large number of them have realized the importance of divine, devotional and spiritual quest coupled with ethics and morality. Which is why, India is called a land of gods, Vedas, dharma, punya, karma and yoga… The Feature ‘Bhakti Literature in Telugu’ edited by Atreya Sarma U mirrors all these vignettes of variety with reference to the factors concerned – saints, devotees, composers, literature et al – from the earliest to the present times.

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Besides the keynote article ‘Bhakti Literature in Telugu’ by renowned exponent, Dr N Ananta Lakshmi, the Feature covers great devotees and saint-composers like Annamacharya (pic), Kanaka Dasa, Ramadasu of Bhadrachalam, Yogi Nareyna of Kaiwara, Tyagaraja, and Nallan Chakravartula Krishnamacharyulu. There are articles on Goda Devi known for her Madhura Bhakti wherein the devotee treats God as her husband, and Dr Syamala Devi Dittakavi has dwelt on this unique aspect of Madhura Bhakti. (FEATURE)

Harikatha is an ingenious genre where a single artist narrates a devotional story in a musical-dance form and the Feature throws light on the life and work of highly innovative performers like Adibhatla Narayana Dasu (pic), and Chandala Kesava Dasu in addition to a number of women Women Saints and Bhagavatarinis. (FEATURE)


Apart from the devotional poetry of Potana, one of the greatest Telugu poets and devotees, … the Feature projects some of the leading lights of the current times including ‘Padma Shri’ Dr Asavadi Prakasa Rao…, and presents some representative devotional lyrics – classical, folksy, film…, a story on children and bhakti…, and reviews of 5 very gripping devotional books. (FEATURE)

Jammu & Kashmir has been undergoing significant transformation, and Undercover in Bandipore, a novel with a sociological study of the Kashmir imbroglio by Ashok Kaul (reviewed by Dr Sujatha Gopal) throws light on some of the aspects involved… And to appreciate the voices of women, go through Annapurna Sharma’s review of The Punch Magazine Anthology of New Writing: Selected Short Stories by Women Writers, edited by Shireen Quadri… Also read the review of 2 more novels, 1 collection of short stories, 3 memoirs, and 3 poetry collections. (BOOK REVIEWS)

You have 2 interesting & illumining memoirs – POW 1971: A Soldier’s Account of the Heroic Battle of Daruchhian by Maj. Gen. Vijay Singh (reviewed by Venkata Rao Bolla); …and Cancer, you picked the wrong girl by Shormistha Mukherjee (reviewed by Annapurna Sharma) … The other books reviewed comprise 1 memoir by Barack Obama; 3 poetry collections, 3 novels, and 2 collections of short stories. (BOOK REVIEWS)

An Indian Jew, Zilka Joseph, in her poetry collection In Our Beautiful Bones (reviewed by Dr H Kalpana) raises pertinent questions of assimilation and identity. Dealing with language and the politics of language, she also critiques the problematic of accent and miscommunication that Indian immigrants face in the US A, although Indians have a high level of English… Also enjoy reading reviews of 2 more poetry collections, 3 memoirs, 3 novels, and 2 collections of short stories. (BOOK REVIEWS)

“The ideological motivation of most post- modernist, feminist and post-colonial writing seems to merge in the delta of writing that seethes against oppression and the invasion of the self. The theme of the search for the self (pertinent in a post-colonial context) and the ironical violation dismemberment of the same self is the theme of much postmodernist Indian writing.” – Dr. Sucheta Chaturvedi


Well, protest is not a ubiquitous theme in the poetry of Pakistani women. They have, at different times, written about other themes such as quest for identity, love, marriage, motherhood, childhood, religion, migration and the expatriate experience, international affairs (especially those relating to West Asia and the Islamic world), etc.” – Dr. Urvashi Sabu


Gnanavi Gummadi’s short story ‘Kajas and Companions’ is a poignant portrayal of old age and the agony of leading a lonely life.  Is Alzheimer’s a blessing in disguise for such people?


26/11 still haunts people. The majestic Taj has changed with its dazzling interiors but the walls do carry the blemishes of those wounded, dead or lame. Revathi’s short story ‘Hope and I’ explores the possibility of renewed love. (FICTION)

Barbara Dordi’s poems travel with you within and bring up pieces of you that have been hidden in dark recesses of the mind and the heart. The fleshing out of the emotions has been done beautifully in her works.


The poems by Divya Joshi have the natural world at its epicentre and from there the veins of life stretch out to counter the demands of the artificial world that one lives in. Her words pierce through the veil that hangs between what is and what can be.



This Issue of Muse India is sponsored by late R R Gandikota , an author cum well-wisher of Muse India.

Past Issues

Issue:100:Indian Literatures – The Abiding Values

Issue:99:Relations – The Void Within

Issue:98:Shakespeare in Indian Cinema Main Editorial

Issue:97:Indian English Writing – Memory, Ancestry, Legend

Issue:96:Kannada Literature – Experienced through Translation

Issue:95:Culture and Identity production in literary paradigms

Issue:94:Love in the Pandemic

Issue:93:Urdu Ramayan