Friday, October 05, 2007

Mysore writers museum

Swift, Shaw, Beckett and Woolf. “As we peeked into their letters and manuscripts on display, we’d suddenly stop dead on our tracks, as the familiar beginnings of stories and poems, or the title of a well-loved play enacted in college days, years ago, caught our eye”. So writes Indu Balachandran on a visit to Dublin’s Writers’ Museum. Reading these lines I wished, if only we could have a museum dedicated to R K Narayan, Kuvempu, Tejasvi and other writers with Mysore connection.

My friend and Star of Mysore columnist Dr Javeed Nayeem even suggested a splendid location - Oriental Research Institute – in a note a couple of Dasara’s back when he shared his thoughts with us on an idea for, what he called, the R K Narayan Walk. The idea was to take interested tourists and visitors round the writer’s favourite haunts.

Maharaja’s College Centenary Hall could be the starting point. Next stop – Ramaswamy Circle, where the Hardwicke High School student was martyred as he took a bullet fired by the then deputy commissioner during a demonstration. Then, a walk through the twin campus of the Maharaja’s and Yuvaraja’s, where many luminaries were students or teachers, before visiting the Oriental Research Institute, where a writers’ museum could be located, said Dr Nayeem, a story-teller in his own rights, and a Mysorean well-versed in local history.

The RKN Walk could then proceed, after a look-in at the un-ignorable Crawford Hall to Kukkarahalli, the lake that has many stories to tell on the time spent there by Mysore’s literary legends – Kuvempu, T P Kailasam and several others.

I gather that a group of Praja-Mysore activists led by Mr Arun Padaki, are putting together a power-point proposal for a network of heritage trails in Mysore. Whether or not they make the Walks happen, they are setting a worthy precedent for citizens-official partnership in the city’s development.

Cross-posted from Praja-Mysore

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