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Notion Press publishes Rukmini Varma's 'HiddenTruth' about Raja Ravi Varma's life and work
Hidden Truth chronicles the life of Raja Ravi Varma with hitherto unknown facts that was revealed to the author by her grandmother during her childhood and from the personal notes of Ravi Varma that she chanced upon, in the Kilimanoor Palace.
Rukmini Varma is a leading Indian artist who paints in the classical tradition. Born in 1940 as Princess Bharani Thirunal Rukmini Bayi Thampuran of Travancore State, Rukmini is a great-great grand-daughter of the master painter Raja Ravi Varma and custodian of his artistic legacy. She is also the Chairperson of The Raja Ravi Varma Heritage Foundation based in Bengaluru.
Rukmini describes this book as unique and says, "Raja Ravi Varma's art serves to be a legacy in the history of Indian art. The main motivation for me to publish this book was to tell people things about him that nobody knew, be it his work or his inner workings of mind. It was to get familiar with the real man behind his great work and how he imagined and brought alive the gods and goddesses on canvas."
"This was a calling for me and I feel very blessed that he had chosen me to have taken this forward. I felt that connection with him and had an intuition that he was guiding and talking to me. I wrote this book way back in the 1980s and finally published this, at the gentle persuasion of Gitanjali Maini, Managing Trustee and CEO of The Raja Ravi Varma Heritage Foundation.
The main source of content of the book was the stories and incidents narrated by her grandmother, the last Maharani of Travancore, Sethu Lakshmi Bayi. She was privy to all these details from her mother Mahaprabha Thampuratty, Ravi Varma's favourite daughter who had shared some of his personal details with regard to his work, inner agonies including his fight with diabetes and his love for colours.
She feels a deep connection with him especially after finding some hand-written notes way back in the 1960s at Ravi Varma's birthplace. However, despite such a strong connection with him, she describes herself as quite different from her world-renowned ancestor.
Rukmini Varma is Ravi Varma's fourth generation descendant; being his grand-daughter's grand-daughter, the author is acquainted with his childhood environment, what shaped him and what his thoughts were on politics and life. Being a painter herself, she had always taken him to be her spirit guide, holding her hand as it were, and igniting her imagination. The book offers an unusual perception of the boy, the youth and the man —Ravi Varma. Rukmini floats back and forth into time giving glimpses of the artist as to what he was and what he became; the being and the becoming of a great man.
Hidden Truth is currently available on Notion Press bookstore, Amazon, Flipkart and other ecommerce stores.