By P.T. Bopanna
Writer C. P. Belliappa, cartoonist Nala Ponnappa and myself (Bopanna) literally came on the same page in the year 2006. I wish to recall how we three landed on the same page.
I launched my first website www.coorgtourisminfo.com in 2005. It was the early days of the homestays boom in Coorg. Though my website was No. 1 in the Google search for the keyword ‘Coorg’, the traffic to the site was not on expected lines.
Having been a journalist, I had no plans of becoming an author. Since the visitor traffic to my site was not encouraging, it occurred to me that I could download the content from the website and bring it out in the form of a printed book.
That was the beginning of my journey as an author. By then, C.P. Belliappa, had established himself as a writer and was writing a column for my website.
I requested Belliappa to write the foreword for my proposed book. It was he who suggested to me the title ‘Discover Coorg’.
I had known cartoonist Ponnappa when I was working for The Times of India, Bengaluru, in the 1990s. His cartoons were featured daily by the Times.
I requested Ponnappa to illustrate the ‘Coorg for the First Time Visitor’ foreword article written for the book by Belliappa. That is how we three came on the same page.
One of the cartoons done by Ponnappa for the write-up was the ‘rain gauges of Coorg’ (accompanying this article).
The cartoon showed three rain gauges – whisky (superior), brandy (medium) and rum (inferior).
I sometime imagine the rain gauges reflect the personality of three of us – Belliappa, Ponnappa and myself.
Belliappa, son of the chief minister of the erstwhile Coorg State, has a sophisticated background. This goes with the drink whisky (superior).
Ponnappa, son of a school teacher, is more cerebral and reflects the spirit of brandy (medium).
On my part, I went to a village school in the beginning and mostly studied in rural government schools in Kannada medium in Coorg. That way, I represent the ‘son of the soil’ image which goes well with the drink ‘rum’ (inferior).
The cocktail of whisky, brandy and rum was apparently heady and well received by the people of Coorg.
I brought out three editions of Discover Coorg, adding more chapters in each edition. The book was also translated into Kannada.
Discover Coorg went out of print many years ago. Now I have republished the book through ‘print-on-demand’ technology which enables the printing of either a single book, or multiple copies.
The paperback copy of the book is now available on Amazon: