Do you know who Bollywood’s Rati was?

Large doe eyes, raven black hair, curvaceous women in the prime of her youth, ravenous Rati made her promising debut in Bollywood and Hindi cinema had a fresh new face. But who was Rati?


Actresses from South India have always had some exotic image up north in Bollywood. The 19-year-old Southern sensation Krishna Kumari made her Bollywood debut with none other than Kishore Kumar. Krishna Kumari had the added advantage that she could read, write and speak Hindi. Of course, another common tradition was the renaming of an actress when they migrated industries. Krishna Kumari was christened as Rati to avoid confusion with another actress of the time.

It was 1958 and the superhit pair Kishore Kumar-Nutan starrer “Kabhi Andhera Kabhi Ujala” was getting made.


Krishna Kumari was picked to play Kishore’s sister. Those were different times; films rode on the fame of their songs. With music by the famous O.P. Nayyar, “Surma mera nirala, aankhon mein jisne daala” sung by Kishore Kumar was picturised on Krishna Kumari.

“Rati: The enchanting new discovery of Hindi films” screamed a newspaper headline of the time. The posters of the film said they were featuring a “new flame” called Rati. Bollywood was obviously fidaa over her looks. Krishna Kumari fondly recalled to her daughter how Kishore Kumar had remarked on seeing her: “Yeh toh Meena jaisi dikhti hai” referring to Hindi cinema’s heartthrob Meena Kumari.

Read more about Krishna Kumar aka Rati’s journey into Bollywood, how many films she did, why she chose to return to Madras, the famous song she sang often for her daughter – all in the beautifully produced book “My Mother T. Krishna Kumari” authored by her daughter Dipika V. Maiya as a personal memoir. It’s filled with exclusive pictures not seen anywhere. Buy it here.

Ganapati in colourful strokes: a book on Sujata Bajaj

Discover multiple representations of Lord Ganapati through the eyes of international artist Sujata Bajaj in a book by French writer Jean-Claude Carrière.

One of India’s well known international artists,who is as inspired by her homeland as she is by the Paris she lives and works in, Sujata Bajaj is renowned for her vivid colours and textures and for having mastered various mediums, and has won many awards and accolades for her work.

Hailing from a family steeped in Gandhian philosophy, Sujata went on to study at the prestigious Ecole des Beaux Arts, in Paris, where she found her language and vocabulary for her art. Sujata now spends her time between Paris, Dubai, India and Norway. 

For over 30 years, she’s been on a personal journey of sketching, drawing, etching, and collaging “The Lord of Beginnings” – everyone’s favourite Ganapati whom Sujata sees as her friend along her life’s journey. While her other works were in the fore in exhibitions all over the world, it was only recently that she exhibited this collection.  

You can find all these works and the story of the artist’s journey in the book titled GANAPATI written by Jean-Claude Carrière, a French writer and cineaste who has recently been awarded an Oscar for his lifetime achievement and who has followed Sujata’s career for more than 25 years. The book showcases works from all the stages of the project as it unfolds over an impressively long 30 years. The reader is invited to an enticing pictorial journey displaying many forms, lines and colors testifying to the scope of this original artistic exploration as well as the artist’s versatility in handling a variety of techniques and materials.

Pointing out that far from wanting to familiarize us with the god and his mythology, Carrière writes that Bajaj is driven by her own inner urge to paint: “Her motivation is elsewhere, in a personal quest for which she has chosen Ganpati to be her guide, as a travelling companion, this figure she has known since childhood – not as a model to be imitated, or represented.

The book also contains an in-depth interview of the artist by the well-known New Delhi based art critic, Kishore SinghKishore Singh’s interview takes us closer to the artist’s own biography. It dwells on the many fascinating stories that together underlie the emergence of the Ganapatiproject and, in the process, sheds light on the person Sujata Bajaj, her background and her evolution as an artist  

Ganapati, an illustrated book published by Art Alive Gallery, New Delhi; Gallery Art & Soul, Mumbai, Galerie Patrice Trigano; Paris, India Media Group; Paris(Size: 30 cm x 40 cm, 300 pages) and is designed by Vinay Jain. You can buy it here on Maiya Publishing.

There can only be one

Oka Bhargavi delves into the life of a multifaceted doctor, her interesting interactions with famous personas, and her many cultural interests

It is a book from an ardent lover of music, literature, cinema, and friends and combines all these spheres seamlessly. A book with 101 pieces about her life experiences, her musings, and in depth analyses of the famous personalities she came to know, about books she has read, the songs and ragas she relished. “Oka Bhargavi” is a Telugu book penned by Dr. Bhargavi, a medical doctor who lives in Pamarru, Andhra Pradesh where she runs a hospital.

But that’s just the physical world she inhabits. Otherwise, Dr Bhargavi is known to immerse herself in a world of music, literature, plants and friends with a remarkable zest for life and love for people around. Her friends view her distinctiveness, making her “the only one” or (oka) Bhargavi of her kind.

This book is a compilation of 101 of her personal and spontaneous Facebook posts. They are accompanied by wonderful illustrations by the famous artist Giridhargoud Rayana. Dr. Bhargavi has earlier translated Tagore’s “Geethanjali” into easy flowing and lyrical Telugu, again with illustrations by Giridhargoud.

Her book looks at her personal life, the home of her childhood, her growing up years and experiences and a lot of nostalgia too.

One remarkable section includes her in-depth articles analysing the lives of actors such as T. Krishna Kumari, Sowcar Janaki, Meena Kumari, Geetha Dutt and Guru Dutt. In fact, Dr. Bhargavi very recently appreciated and reviewed a biography of T. Krishna Kumari, written by her daughter Dipika V. Maiya “My Mother T. Krishna Kumari. 

Details of the book on actress Krishna Kumari can be found here.

Dr. Bhargavi, in her book also pays her tribute to stalwarts like Bala Murali Krishna, Balanthrapu Rajanikantha Rao, M.S Eelapata Raghu Ramayya, the famous folk singers Seetha and Anasuya, and also John Higgins Bhagavatar. She talks at length about singers like Balasaraswathi and her most admired singer Mohammad Rafi. She is quite knowledgeable about Carnatic music and is an accomplished singer too. Her articles on some classical ragas with examples go into great detail and allow even a novice to appreciate music.

Also featured in the book are outstanding people in Andhra Pradesh who are doing sincere work without craving publicity — like the doctors of Challapalli village, the knowledge bank Lanka Suryanarayana Chalasani Prasad, internationally renowned artiste S.V. Rama Rao and L. Vijayalakshmi a dancer of great caliber, her own mother, mentors and teachers.

Dr. Bhargavi has also reviewed several books in some of these Facebook posts and that adds to the variety of writings in her book Including biographies of Duvvuri Venkata Ramana Sastry, Shaukat Azmi, and Kaifi Azmi. She also reviews films like “Citizen Kane”, “Amar Bhoopali”, “Pink” and, “Mahanati”.

The language is easy and can be enjoyed by novice and young readers as well as those who are well-established and comfortable readers of the language.

What is interesting about Dr. Bhargavi is that she has also facilitated the publishing of other books by several authors, which she believes need to be brought to light – a collection of articles of V.A.K Ranga Rao, a connoisseur of music and dance called “Alapana 1”, followed by another series called “Alapana 2”. Her interview with V.A.K Ranga Rao brings out his personality, prowess and knowledge. In addition to these, she has also published “Madhukanya” a translation of Omar Khayyam’s “Rubaayat” by her teacher Kastoori Narasimha Moorty.

The book Oka Bhargavi can be bought here.

Cast your vote, buy a discounted book

Dear folks of Bangalore,

A lot of fuss is being made about April 18 and Bangalore going to the polls for the Lok Sabha elections 2019 – The Great Indian General Election is here. And rightly so. It’s our sole opportunity as Indians to exercise our franchise.

But casting your vote need not be, and is not, any tedious process.

Think of it this way. All it takes is 20 minutes of your time, end to end, to make a difference; to exercise your right to democracy. It really takes less time than your morning walk or time at the gym. That’s the amount of time we will spend surfing Netflix everyday, or to scroll down Whatsapp jokes or Facebook posts.

Hope you have not booked yourself on a holiday out of town, if yes, re-consider it; or modify your holiday departure so that you can vote and then leave.

Hopefully by now you have ensured you are on the voter’s list. So get out of home, go the voting booth and cast your ballot. Which is not asking much of ourselves, isn’t it? Considering we all love to discuss problems in our country, our politicians and politics, and criticise our “system”.

Yes, in return you can show off your inked finger on all your social media accounts, and show yourself a proud Indian.

We at Maiya Publishing also have a very legitimate and happy incentive to offer you if you cast your vote. Put up a photograph on our social media pages and you will be eligible for a 10 per cent discount on The Service book on our website on April 18, 2019. 

Facebook :

Instagram : 

We recommend:

Here’s a book from Maiya Publishing that fits the mood of the election day.

Former Chief Secretary to the Chief Minister of Karnataka, N Viswanathan is out with his tell-all book  “The Service” buy it here – that looks at the inner workings of the bureaucracy. He beautifully weaves complex situations with anecdotes and analysis in a gripping narrative in his maiden book.

The book is not just a ‘must read’ for administrative service aspirants, but for anybody who is keen to understand the intricacies of the bureaucratic process. The book is also recommended for professionals in the field of logistics, human resource development, IT and marketing. “The Service”, through case studies of large scale enterprises, provides insights and solutions into issues that several organisations face.


Quick tips to ensure you cast your precious vote:

*Log on to to check your name on the electoral roll. You could also check on or on the site

*It’s always easier to search on this website if you have your Voter ID card with your EPIC number on it

*From the above site you can even know which is your polling booth and also print your voter information slip.

*Do not panic if you can’t find your name registered online. You will find the list at the booth to check your name.

*Carry your EPIC card or any other form of photo identification

*Get out of home early to avoid queues. Polling begins at 7 a.m. and is usually on at most booths till 6 pm.

*For information on candidates from your constituency on websites like OR



Written by Bhumika Kulkarni –


My Mother, T Krishna Kumari


…from days when there was no social media

We all love our movie stars, don’t we? Today we follow them, almost stalk them on social media. We drool over what they wear and post on Instagram, copy their red carpet or airport looks. We check out where they vacation. We wait for their film trailers and posters to be released online, shared on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. We download and listen to their songs whenever and wherever we want. 

Yet, there was a time when all these social media didn’t exist. (Yes, can you imagine that?!)

There was a time when film stars were still a mystery. 

We knew so little about their lives beyond the glitz and glamour, the elegant silk, the beautiful eyes, jewellery and makeup. We were ever so curious to know how they are at home, what they eat, where they holiday. 

Very rarely did a star open up about her private life, specially an actress. Rarely did an autobiography get written. Film magazines offered a glimpse of them every now and then; and that’s about all.

One is curious then, to see and learn about one of Southern India’s most beautiful and most successful stars, T. Krishna Kumari. A whole generation of movie-goers has swooned over her. After acting in over 150 Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Hindi films between the 1950s and the 1970s, she chose, at the peak of her career, to settle down quietly on a farm in Bangalore. Imagine if Krishna Kumari had been on Instagram in her heyday!



Imagine the number of ‘likes’ a gorgeously glowing
Krishna Kumari would have got if we had Insta back then!


“My Mother, T Krishna Kumari” is a rare book written as a tribute by her daughter Dipika V. Maiya. Krishna Kumari passed away in January 2018.

The book is a personal and heartfelt look of a child at her star mum, through photos from the family’s personal album, posters, newspaper and magazine clippings that Krishna Kumari’s mother collected, favourite recipes and holiday spots of her mother, and so much more that we could never have been privy to. 

You could be making Krishna Kumari’s patent mulaga podi or rasam podi that she herself perfected and fed her many famous guests with, in your own home. 


Limited editions of “My Mother, T. Krishna Kumari” are now available to buy at a click here

Go on, and pick up this beautifully produced collectible brimming with photos, posters, recipes, film stills, cuttings, and the most interesting stories of the filmstars of yore.

Psst: You will be amazed to know how Sridevi and Krishna Kumari met, or how Jayalalitha is connected to Krishna Kumari.

Written by Bhumika Kulkarni –

PC : These images are shot on vintage saris upcycled into bedspreads by hamsini. Visit this link to know more details –