Simpadipura, a nondescript village in Doddaballapura in Karnataka is home to the makers of the Mysore Veena who are keeping the legacy of the instrument alive.
Manjunath belongs to the third generation of the family that started the tradition of making Mysore veenas in the village. Nonagenarian Penna Hoblayya who is called Pennoblayya, is said to have learnt the craft when he worked with a veena maker. After he returned to Simpadipura, he trained his family and other villagers in the craft.
The craftsmen here work on the Mysore Veena that is made of aged jackfruit tree wood. The pandemic has negatively impacted the business, they say orders are down by 50 percent, but they continue making the veenas as it is the only craft they know.
As I get ready to leave, I spot his daughter with a toy veena and say a prayer that she does her bit to take the craft forward.
Read the full story that first appeared in The Hindu dated Feb 25, 2022 here: