Splendours of Royal Mysore -
The Untold Story of the Wodeyars

Events

Book reading at Bangalore - 11th April 2008

Books, they say, are man's best friends. And what better venue than a bookstore, to discuss a book and read select passages from it? The Crossword bookstore at Residency Road in Bangalore played host to a reading session of the 'Splendours of Royal Mysore'. Two eminent literary figures of the country - Sahitya Akademi Winner Smt. Shashi Deshpand and Jnanpeeth winner Padmabhushan Dr. U. R. Ananthamurthy graced the occasion.

Going by the staff at Crossword, this was one of the most well-attended reading sessions, with people exceeding seating space. The event was attended by a select group of Bangalore's intellectual and cultural luminaries, including Ms. Urmila Devi Kotda-Sangani, niece of Maharaja Jayachamaraja Wodeyar and Mr. Balan Nambiar, eminent artist.

The evening began with a documentary film on the compelling reasons for the book's creation and also a brief capsule of the 600 years of Wodeyar regime. This was followed by an address by Dr. U. R. Ananthamurthy who took the audience on a nostalgic tour of the old Mysore state that he belonged to as well. He recounted that among many other firsts to its credit, novel concepts like family planning and animal husbandry were initiated for the first time ever in India by the erstwhile Maharajas of Mysore. The sensitivity that the princely state showed to its subjects is something sadly lacking in today's political class, he rued.

Speaking on the occasion Smt. Shashi Deshpande said "At a time when history is so politicised, Vikram beings in a fresh voice. Whenever people of my age group moan about today's generation, I always have one or two people whose name I quote and Vikram is one of them!"

Speaking after this, author Vikram Sampath took the audience through a journey of the writing of the book, justifying the subtitle and why it was called the 'Untold Story'. He cited the paucity of books on the topic and discussed the many sources he referred, as well as the perils of historical documentation and presentation of facts. What followed thereafter was a reading session by Santosh, which was done with ample involvement and emotions. It was like a good story telling session that took the audience along and seemed to take them back 600 years into the past to the legend of the founding of the Wodeyar Dynasty.

The evening ended with discussions and reminiscences of the erstwhile princely state and its history.

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Splendours of Royal Mysore

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