Sundeep Bhutoria

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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Rani Lakshmi Kumari Chundawat memorial lecture

20 August, 2016: I landed in Kolkata today around midnight. The frequency of my travels, it seems, has increased a lot and will increase further till the Pujas.
With Usha Uthup at the start of Rani Lakshmi Chundawat Memorial Lecture
I went to Jaipur day before yesterday to attend the lecture in memory of Rani Lakshmi Kumari Chundawat. Usha Uthup was the guest speaker whom I had requested and she spoke on women out of the box.
This lecture series was instituted by me in memory of Rani Lakshmi Kumari Chundawat after her death. I had last met her in April 2012. She was 96-year-old then. She was a very elegant lady and possessed many talents.
I recall during my meeting with her at that time when she had appreciated my efforts and initiatives to promote artistes, writers and theatre personalities from the state and also those living outside Rajasthan. She had autographed a copy of her book From Purdah to the People for me.
That book is an account of her courageous struggle to leave the feudal society she was born into and make a public life for herself in modern India. She had joined the Indian National Congress and also been a member of the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly and the Rajya Sabha. She had won the Padma Shri in 1984 for her contribution to Rajasthani literature.
The first lecture in her memory was delivered by Urvashi Butalia and this time it was Usha di who spoke wonderfully and even sang a song in Rajasthani that everyone liked very much. 
Inaugurating the Dakshin Food Festival
I also hosted a lunch for her and then innagurated the Dakshin Food Festival formally at the ITC Rajputana.
At a lunch meeting with Usha Uthup
Last week was very eventful. India won two medals at the Rio Olympics and sadly Macchli – the most famous tigress of Ranthambore – passed away. During the Independence Day weekend I was in Bangalore and attended a brunch and a dinner party. 
From Bangalore I landed in Kolkata on the night of August 16 and on the 17th evening I was at the ITC Sonar for the dinner showcasing Rajasthani food by Kangan and Atul Bhalla.
Rajasthani Food
It was a selective dinner for few, and even with extremely bad weather and uprooted trees all over the city causing traffic snarls, guests turned up.
At the ITC Sonar dinner hosted by Kangan and Atul Bhalla
I must appreciate the decor of sand and puppets on the table to give a very elegant Rajasthani touch.
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