Advertisement
Saturday, Dec 04, 2021
Outlook.com
culture: historical writing

Monitor’s Hold

A Manohar Malgonkar manuscript celebrates a fierce chieftain

Monitor’s Hold
Courtesy: Murarirao Ghorpade & The 18th Century Deccan, By M.Y. Ghorpade
Monitor’s Hold
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

For 27 long years, Manohar Malgonkar’s manuscript on  the 18th century Maratha chieftain Murarirao Hindurao Ghorpade, or Morari Row, or simply Murarrao, lay locked up in a drawer. But curiously, just one month before his death on June 14, the writer took this thick sheaf of pages, typed on an Olympus typewriter, and handed it over to Prof S. Shettar, a historian, hoping posterity might have some use for it.

It may well do. This is a marvellously narrated, quasi-historical account of a fascinating character and is likely to be published soon. The lingering mystery is: Why did Malgonkar keep it unpublished for so long? It seems to relate to the fact that this biography had been commissioned, probably by the Ghorpades, erstwhile rulers of Sandur, in Karnataka’s Bellary region. They derive their surname from the legend of the “ghorpad”, or monitor lizard,  reputedly used by Maratha chieftains to scale forts under siege, and claim Murarrao as their ancestor. For some reason, Malgonkar’s manuscript appears not to have passed muster with them.

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

Shaheen Bagh, CAA, Farmers’ Protest: Hip-Hop Is The Voice Of Dissent In India

Shaheen Bagh, CAA, Farmers’ Protest: Hip-Hop Is The Voice Of Dissent In India

Young, brash and little-known artistes are using hip-hop as an outlet to speak up and speak out.

World Disability Day: Visually Impaired Girls In Himachal Use Education To Dispel Darkness

World Disability Day: Visually Impaired Girls In Himachal Use Education To Dispel Darkness

Umang Foundation in Himachal Pradesh has helped many blind and visually impaired persons achieve their dreams by giving them access to higher education.

Mayank Notches Maiden 100 Vs NZ – Statistical Highlights

Mayank Notches Maiden 100 Vs NZ – Statistical Highlights

Mayank Agarwal's ton against New Zealand on Friday was his first since his 243 vs Bangladesh in 2019 at Indore.

Kashmir: Ghulam Nabi Azad Emerges As Key Player In J&K With Or Without Congress

Kashmir: Ghulam Nabi Azad Emerges As Key Player In J&K With Or Without Congress

Crowds at Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad's recent rallies show that he will be a key player in elections in Jammu and Kashmir, when they happen.

Advertisement