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Date of Birth 16-03-1923
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Mr A K Ramanujan is said to be the first modern Indian poet who could understand really the perceptions of Indian mind and has narrated it in his literary creations. He was an undefeated scholar during his academic years Ramanujan could excel everything he had faced in his life. Ramanujan was born in 1923 in the southern part of India writing both in English and Kannada. This is the identity of the intellect the poet has deserved. He was really a brilliant and was a research scholar in many languages of India.

He is chiefly accredited for the service he has done to the Indian literature in translating most of the difficult epics and works of Sanskrit literature in to English thus rendering a major service and facilitating the understanding of the literature which was unnecessary was made necessary by the crucial attempts of Ramanujan.

Some of the major works of Ramanujan are The striders (1996) , Samskara (1976) , Relations (1971) and second sight (1986). Ramanujan took his ultimate breath in 1993 at the time when he was the professor of Linguistics at the University of Chicago and was recognized as one of the profoundest scholar of the south Indian language and scholar in the world. Ramanujan mainly is a lyric and imaginative poet following the traditions of imagist poets. His works are the real perceptions to Indian traditions, cultures and the rituals exercised by the inhabitants of this great-diversified country of the world.


He was born into an Iyengar(Brahmin) family in Mysore City on 16 March 1929. His father, Attipat Asuri Krishnaswami, a professor of mathematics at Mysore University and an astronomer, had a study crammed with books in English, Kannada. and Sanskrit. The house was alive with ideas. On summer nights, the children gathered on the third floor terrace while their father pointed out and explained the constellations. Sometimes at dinner, the children listened intently as their father translated for their mother the stories of Shakespeare and other Western classics into Tamil.

Ramanujan s mother was an orthodox Brahmin woman of her time, limited by custom in the scope of her movement and control, in this way a typical housewife. Though she was no intellectual practitioner, she was neither typical nor limited in her learning and imagination. She was widely read in Tamil and Kannada, and comfortable in the world of ideas.


He was educated at Marimallappa s High School and Maharaja College of Mysore. In college, Ramanujan majored in science in his first year, but his father, who thought him not mathematically minded , literally took him by the hand to the Registrar s office and changed his major from science to English.He was a Fellow of Deccan College, Pune in 1958 - 59 and Fulbright Scholar at Indiana University in 1959 - 62. He was educated in English at the Mysore University and received his Ph.D. in Linguistics from Indiana University

Having been a lecturer in English at Quilon and Belgaum, he taught at The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda for about eight years. In 1962, he joined the University of Chicago as an assistant professor , where he was affiliated throughout the rest of his career, teaching in several departments. However, he did teach at several other U.S. universities at times, including Harvard, University of Wisconsin, University of Michigan, University of California at Berkeley, and Carleton College. At the University of Chicago, Ramanujan was instrumental in shaping the South Asian Studies program. He worked in the departments of South Asian Languages and Civilizations, Linguistics, and with the Committee on Social Thought.

 Selected publications

His works include translations from Classical Tamil and Medieval Kannada, such as:

Translations and studies of literature

    The Interior Landscape: Love Poems from a Classical Tamil Anthology, 1967
    Speaking of Siva, 1973
    The Literatures of India. Edited with Edwin Gerow. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1974
    Hymns for the Drowning, 1981
    Poems of Love and War. New York: Columbia University Press, 1985
    Folktales from India, Oral Tales from Twenty Indian Languages, 1991
    "Is There an Indian Way of Thinking?" in India Through Hindu Categories, edited by McKim Marriot, 1990
    When God Is a Customer: Telugu Courtesan Songs by Ksetrayya and Others (with Velcheru Narayana Rao and David Shulman), 1994
    A Flowering Tree and Other Oral Tales from India, 1997

Poetry, fiction and drama

    The Striders. London: Oxford University Press, 1966
    Hokkulalli Huvilla, No Lotus in the Navel. Dharwar, 1969
    Relations. London, New York: Oxford University Press, 1971

Major Works

A. K. Ramanujan s theoretical and aesthetic contributions span several disciplinary areas.  In his cultural essays such as "Is There an Indian Way of Thinking?" (1990) he explains cultural ideologies and behavioral manifestations thereof in terms of an Indian psychology he calls "context-sensitive" thinking.  In his work in folklore studies, Ramanujan highlights the intertextuality of the Indian oral and written literary tradition.  His essay "Where Mirrors Are Windows: Toward an Anthology of Reflections" (1989), and his commentaries in The Interior Landscape: Love Poems from a Classical Tamil Anthology (1967) and Folktales from India, Oral Tales from Twenty Indian Languages (1991) are good examples of his work in Indian folklore studies.  His ideas about Indian sociolinguistics, language change, and linguistic creativity can be found in his 1964 essay written with W. Bright, "Sociolinguistic Variation and Language Change."  Finally, a collected works of his poetry was posthumously published in 1995, The Collected Poems of A. K. Ramanujan, which includes poems from several previously-published volumes of poetry as well as some previously unpublished poems.

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