Prof. Vijeta Kumar at ‘Found Book’ – the new series at Meta 2017 where members of the department will talk about a book they found accidentally. Prof. Vj’s was ‘A Princess Remembers – The Memoirs of the Maharani of Jaipur, by Gayatri Devi’. Erika Lasrado investigates.
On the 7th day of Meta, the last event was Found Book, by Prof. Vijeta Kumar who spoke about ‘A Princess Remembers’ a biography of Rajmata Maharani Gayatri Devi.
Speaking about her parents’ fascination with the ancient royalty, she said “My father was reading this book in a book shop. I asked him to tell me the story and I was quite fascinated by it”. She also spoke about the Rajmata’s life, about the time she met her husband and so on. Rajmata was the princess of Cooch Behar before she married Sawai Mann Singh II.
“Inspired by Rajmata and The Princess Diaries, my Facebook name was Princess VJ for the longest time”, she said. She mentioned a time when she gave each of her family members 20 rupees just to call her princess. Her parents’ fascination had now become hers. She went on to find out more about her ancestors. She found out that her uncle had many rags of tea bags in Mangalore. Along with royalty she said that she would find a woman beautiful only if her mother found her beautiful. “I just wanted to do everything that Rajmata did,” she added. She also asked her father to take her to Cooch Behar but he took her to Kolkata instead and showed her a few palaces. When she entered the palace, she started behaving as though the spirit of Rajmata had gotten into her. “I miss those days of being Princess VJ when I was fearlessly stupid, now I’m just plain stupid”, she said as the audience broke into laughter.
Prof Cheriyan Alexander from the English Department asked her if she was channeling Gayathri Devi to which she replied, “Maybe now after you have asked me that question”. When asked about which Disney Princess she wanted to be by Shalom of CPE, she replied ‘None are good enough no? But maybe I’d like to be Mickey Mouse’.