Parimala Rao

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Parimala Rao, Mother
Malini Rao, Daughter



G.R. Parimala Rao - Profile

Mrs. Parimala Rao was born at Kurnool in Andhra Pradesh, India in 1940 and brought up in Bangalore (Karnataka, India). With a deep interest in literature, philosophy and painting, Parimala wrote Kannada verse in her early career and carved a niche for herself as a noted poet in Kannada literature.

More recently she has adopted haiku and other short verse formats and writes in both Kannada and English. She is the first woman writer in India to bring haiku into mainstream Kannada literature.
Now a leading exponent of haiku in India in English as well, she has not just adopted this Japanese poetic style but made her own unique contribution to it by adapting it in free style imbued with surreal imagery laced with spirituality and with a strong under current of Indian sensibility, thus making it truly a world expression.

Randy Brooks, a leading Haiku exponent, publisher and an active member of the Haiku Society of America comments that some of Parimala's work seems dream like, which is `unusual but
interesting for haiku'. Dr. H.N. Ramathirtha, Chairman, Satsang Ghosti, Mysore alludes to the spiritual aspects of here work –`… She gets a message even from a passing cloud. She sees the unknown hand in everything. She is a philosopher and a poetess. She sees spiritual beauty in every object. She sees the changeless in the changing world of names and forms.'

Parimala has also experimented with fusion expressions involving haiku and miniature paintings. While her haiku stump the reader with their brevity, the miniature art amazes the viewer with detail. She has exhibited this collection called `Romance of pen and brush' in
various locations in south India and has received critical acclaim from both the world of art and literature.

Late C.H. Prahlada Rao, a well-known critic and columnist for `The Hindu' (a national newspaper) wrote of Parimala's work – `Of Parimala Rao, it is said she is poetic when she draws and graphic when she composes. In modern parlance, she is a 2 in 1. She is equally devoted to art and poetry. She employs varied imager so that she is fresh all the time. Her images constitute an astonishing procession of ideas frozen in sculpture… There is no doubt about the poetic quality and the bilingual abilities deserve high commendation. Few excel in more than
one language.'

British poet Bernard M. Jackson comments, `Here is an artist who can paint in words, and to whom the whole world is her canvas.'

Parimala Rao pursued a career as a schoolteacher for over 22 years.
Parimala Rao now lives with her husband in Bangalore, India but travels to the United Kingdom and United States every year to spend time with her son and daughter and their families.

Publications in Kannada

1) Mandara Malini, Manorama Press, Chennai, India, 1981
2) Aleya Aalpa, Anika Prakashana, Bangalore, India, 2000
3) Minugu Deepa, Anika Prakashana, Bangalore, India, 2000
4) Antharangayana, Anika Prakashana, Bangalore India, 2003
5) Rutugana, Nava Karnataka Publications, Bangalore, India, 2004
6) Nakshatra Nakkaga, Nava Karnataka Publications, Bangalore, India, 2004
7) Swarna Sampige, Nava Karnataka Publications, Bangalore, India, 2004
8) Zen Beragu, CVG Publications, Bangalore, India, 2006
9) Zen Haiku, CVG Publications, Bangalore, India, 2006
10) GarbhaguDiya Shishu Chetana, CVG Publications, Bangalore, India, 2006
11) Nandanavana, CVG Publications, Bangalore, India, 2006
12) MuttinaamaLe, CVG Publications, Bangalore
13) Jalapatha CVG Publications, Bangalore (under publication)
14) Tripadigalu (under publication)
15) Hanigavanagalu (under publication)

Publications in English

1) Birth of Hope, Anika Prakashana, Bangalore, India, 2000
2) Season's Heart Beat, Anika Prakashana, Bangalore, India, 2003
3) Sharana Sahitya Haiku Gems (under publication)

Also published in 'Still', a journal for short verse, reviews in Indian newspapers and 'Voice and Verse', a UK based poetry journal.

Look at her Website:


Parimala Rao
Haiga - Where Poetry And Painting Integrate
Nirmala Garimella

If an artistic gene exists, it swirls through the Rao's family's DNA. You can see it in their energy, their focus, their love of the art. It's a fundamental part of who they are. Malini Rao and her mother Parimala Rao have a passion for Haiga, loosely defined as illustrated Haiku where Haiku poetry is combined with Paintings as an art form. Malini's father, G.R. Raghunath Rao is avidly interested in classical music, theatre and philosophy. Inspiration for an artist comes in different ways - a setting, a muse, an experience.
Malini Rao seems to have kept this in mind when she chose the home she currently resides in North Andover. The backyard to her home opens to the lovely Mill Pond that draws an instant breath from a viewer. You cannot but be amazed at the beauty of such a setting.

The story behind this inspiration sounds almost like a tale from an Indian Epic. When Parimala Rao was pregnant, she became fascinated with Haiku, the Japanese style of Poetry and started practicing this form in Kannada. The child growing in her would soon imbibe her mother's interest and passion. Says Parimala Rao with a smile, when we meet her at her daughter's home in North Andover, "It seemed as though she almost heard me from the womb".
Today the two have evolved and established themselves into artists in their own right.

Mother and daughter presented their creative work in local libraries here recently which included books on Haiku authored by the two, beautiful hand made greeting cards with original art and poetry, bookmarks, thank you notes from old photo prints, paintings etc.

Parimala Rao, who is on a visit from India, is a natural artist. She professes that she is untrained and is refreshingly amazed at how her art form is admired. Her talents are varied. She is a painter and writer of Haiku both in Kannada and English. Her spontaneity is evident when she describes how her walk that morning inspired her with an almost Haiku kind of feeling that she will soon transform into verse. Most of the feelings are positive and almost spiritual and rise above the everyday routine life of an individual.

Nature and seasons are a major topic. Her book titled "Seasons Heart Beat" is described as an "astonishing, epoch making event worthy of mention in non Japanese Haiku" by Kazuyosi Ikeda of Osaka University. Parimala Rao says she drew her inspiration from Dwarakanath. H. Kabadi, a poet of international repute. In recent endeavors, her paintings are more highly textured and have seen a marked turn toward abstraction but her love of bright colors in the paintings remain.

Haiku forms the life's blood of both mother and daughter. Parimala Rao and Malini both devote time for pursuing their passion but they differ in their approach. While Parimala Rao , a school teacher for 22 years, poems are extremely positive and have a subtle preaching messages in them, Malini's work is more rooted in reality, in relationships and issues closest to her heart.
"We sort of inspire and critique each other's work" says Malini, "It's because we both have a tremendous amount of respect for each of our abilities. Both of us like to experiment with the art form when it comes to the topics that we chose".

Taking time tested haiku elements with new topics, techniques, and textures, the two have created a totally compelling and novel art form that pays homage to both the old and the new.
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