HUBLI: After the demise of Manohar Malgaonkar, the legendary Indian writer in his bunglow deep inside the jungles of Uttara Kannada last week, uncertainty prevails over the protection of the invaluable personal library and other priceless belongings.
The bunglow of the writer at Jagalbet village is in the deep woods of Uttara Kannada, about 150 km from here.
The ‘Barbusa bungalow’ has left behind a trail of ever lasting memories in the form of its architecture and the invaluable library containing more than 10,000 books. This apart, it also treasures Malgaonkar’s manuscripts.
A contemporary of R K Narayan, Raja Rao and Khushwant Singh, he lived a solitary life after the death of his beloved wife and lone daughter. She was married to Anjre Kapoor, an industrialist in Mumbai, who is now the lone survivor in the family.
Born to a rich family, Malgaonkar had always been in touch of world literature as well as outside world. A voracious reader, he used to get books he wanted from around the globe.
His house is not only an international standard library, but also a museum of priceless articles like rare swords of historical importance, goods purchased from various markets of the world, the most valued red carpet. It also includes the Tiger’s skin which had been maintained with the permission of forest department.
The house was specially designed based on his taste about 50 years ago. It is perched on a table top where he could visualise the lush green forest of Jagalbet, once he opened any door which are on all the four sides. He had maintained his work of art in a separate cupboard.
According to sources close to Malgaonkar, a decade ago, the French government had reportedly written a letter to him expressing desire to purchase his library and rare museum of collection of articles. But he had not responded then as he was in no way ready to part with his “treasured trove” till he breathed his last.
Sources close to the writer told UNI that following his demise, the French government may revive its desire to purchase or a French team might descend in a bid to purchase the library.
The decision to dispose of the library and the museum is now left to the lone survivor of Malgaonkar family, Mr Kapoor.
However, locals, his followers and lovers of his writings are demanding that all the belongings of Malgaonkar and the Barbusa bungalow be converted as a monument.
At present, the staff members of the writer, including his cook who lived with him for decades stay in the bunglow guarding the belonging of Malgaonkar.