In Ananthamurthy’s ancestral village in Karnataka, where he spent a significant part of his childhood and adolescence, the house had a front yard. It was essentially a raised platform under a roof made up of the kind of country tiles that were known locally as Mangalore tiles. It was a space occupied by his father and other men. The conversations here dealt with the affairs of the world. It was a place suffused with his father’s authority, which drew from his self-taught competence in Kannada, Sanskrit and English.
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