As a writer and conservationist, my work is in public space. Believing that one’s work should speak for itself, I did not keep track of the press coverage nor did I publicize these. I’ve been ticked off sternly that this is old fashioned and would cost me ‘great opportunities’. So let me set this right with what I am able to retrieve from the internet.
On Lake Matters
March 2023 Cover Story, Dignity Dialogue, Vol 28, Issue 03
One of the most comprehensive interviews I have given which finds connections from past experiences and influences to my present persona and work. Read it in Activist with a writer’s heart
This is also the first time I appeared on the cover of a magazine!
Jun 20, 2022
Dialogues with Indian Women Achievers. Discussion with Ketaki Koolkarni of Doyens Media
Mar. 04, 2022
A discussion on wetlands with students of Teri School of Advanced Studies
Sept. 11, 2021
Probing questions by Dr. S. Subramanya, one of the leading ornithologists in Bengaluru on what it takes to bring a lake back to life.
Jan 15, 2020
Har ek boond (‘Every drop of water’) – a campaign on water conservation run by Republic TV and Aquaguard which featured our team and our lake. https://www.republicworld.com/initiatives/har-ek-boond/usha-rajagopalan-revives-the-dying-lakes-of-bengaluru.html
Nov. 7, 2019
I came across this story by chance and am truly humbled by their research and compilation. ‘Inspiring Indians’ in The Indianness, a Hindi channel.
They also carried an article in The Indian. This is in Hindi as well.
Oct. 28, 2018
In Eco India, a co-production between Deutsche Welle and Scroll.in, I have given a part of the interview while going in a ‘theppa,’ a coracle. The episode covers four lakes, including our Puttenahalli.
Sep 30, 2016
A case study of Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS). Where I talk about the restoration of Puttenahalli Lake, challenges, future plans and more
Feb. 23, 2015
Our first and only lake festival. We need a larger team to revive the celebration and keep it going!
This report, The Puttenahalli Kere Habba 2015, had appeared in India Water Portal.
Mar 01, 2012
My roles as writer and conservationist were better balanced those days. They were explored in this interview The Writer who rescued the lake in Citizen Matters.
June 30, 2011
One of our very first video interviews, with fellow trustee, Arathi Manay.
My first article on the plight of Puttenahalli Lake
Feb 17, 2021
Manipal Universal Press hosted a new series, “Conversation with an author. ” I used this opportunity to talk about my new book, The Zoo in My Backyard.
Dec. 13, 2020
A freewheeling discussion with Tony V Francis on the making of The Zoo in My Backyard. Along with the talking and reading, I imitated some bird sounds as well.
Nov 4, 2020
This reporter from EdEx Live, the education section of the New Indian Express had a number of interesting questions about the lake and writing. The focus of course was on my new book, The Zoo in My Backyard.
Oct. 22, 2020
In this first webinar on Nature Writing for Children organized by Azim Premji University, I got to share my thoughts with Aparna Karthikeyan, a well-known writer and independent journalist.
Feb. 11, 2016
Joining extraordinary individuals from various fields in Silver talkies Hall of Fame
Presentations from Selected Poems of Subramania Bharati
With this translation volume, I fulfilled a childhood dream. It had been a long journey but so satisfying. As satisfying as seeing Puttenahalli Lake thriving! I had dreamt of not just translating the Bard’s work but also presenting the songs with music. This was what I did at the launch of the book in 2012 with a dear friend, Geetha Srikrishnan, rendering the songs in Carnatic style.
An interesting thing happened at this book launch. A lady from the audience came up, introduced herself as a Mohiniattam artiste and danced to a couple of songs that Geetha sang! It was mesmerizing to say the least. Two months later, Rekha Raju concluded her performance at the Alliance Francaise, Bangalore with an abhinaya (expressive) based on my translation of Bharati’s poem, “Kannan: Pangs of Separation.”
Since then, I try to include a dancer in these presentations. I have been fortunate to receive invitations to present the Bharati programme at several venues in Bangalore, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, and Jamshedpur. Also in Aug. 2021 at “Prastuti 75” (held to celebrate 75 years of India’s independence) at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi. Links to two events are given below along with viewers’ comments.
Dec 6, 2015
At the Bangalore Literature Festival, 2015. Report on An Artistic Presentation
Oct 1, 2015
Bond with the Bard performed with Geetha Srikrishnan and Ramaa Venugopalan as part of the Azim Premji University Colloquium Series. This multi-media event celebrated the life and poetry of Mahakavi Subramania Bharati through song, Bharatanatyam and English renderings of his poems.
Apr 18, 2015
The reading at Atta Galatta was a ticketed event which was sold out! A leading Tamil writer, Vaasanthi, who had been in the audience, sent this email in our writers’ group.
“I want to share a beautiful experience I had yesterday at Atta galatta, Koramangala [Bangalore] where I made a thrilling discovery of what great talent we have in our midst in the name of Usha Rajagopal! Oh, she gave an absolutely fascinating presentation of Subramanya Bharathi’ – the Tamil ‘activist, spiritual’ bard ‘s tumultuous life interspersed with her incredibly good translations of his selected songs/poems. She said it so beautifully with such perfect diction and style that I was overwhelmed with joy. She was accompanied at intervals by a singer and a dancer, both doing their job with gay abandon that suited the passion with which Usha spoke. Bangalore friends, you missed a very charming event. Usha’s translation of Bharathi is absolutely wonderful. Go get it!”
Oct 4, 2012, The Hindu
Sept 9, 2008, Deccan Herald
It is not easy to find a publisher for a short story collection. Even after winning prizes in the Commonwealth short story competition thrice in a row, I had to scout around till New Horizon Media, Chennai took up Corpse Kesavan and Other Stories. Prof. C. N. Ramachandran, well-known critic and scholar released the book.
This is likely to be my only collection because I haven’t been able to write any short story, at least not one worthy of publication.
Sept 6, 2008, Hindustan Times, Ranchi
An interview in Malayalam which had appeared in the Sunday edn of a leading newspaper, Kerala Kaumudi, which I had seen my grandfather read way back in the 1960s. This interview took place in my ancestral home in Trivandrum.
May 30, 2007
India Today is a widely circulated weekly magazine. The Malayalam edition had carried this interview soon after I shifted to Bengaluru. I don’t remember how they contacted me but I do distinctly recall being photographed at the Lal Bagh Garden, a popular tourist site. I tried to appear casual though I squirmed within!
This is the only book review I have posted here because it is a precious one written by Mr. M.V. Kamath, renowned journalist, whom I had the privilege to meet at Manipal.
Amrita, my first novel which appeared in 2004 and I continue to get readers’ comments even now (2023)! They loved it or hated it but couldn’t forget it. This, I think, is the highest praise a writer can get.
Feb 24, 2005, Economic Times, Madras Plus
I gave this interview sitting on the terrace of my aunt’s house in Chennai. I told the reporter that the inspiration for the novel came from a visual that I saw on TV. It only gave structure to a theme that I had nursed ever since I was 10 years old or so. My uncle and aunt had paid us a rare visit with their children and I realized that my cousins were ‘different’. Amrita was the only English novel that my aunt ever read because she had had her schooling in Tamil medium. She had been as proud of herself as of me.
Feb 13, 2005, Vijay Times
Feb 11, 2005, Udayavani
The interview I gave for this Kannada newspaper is one I can never forget. The editor, Ms. R. Purnima, and I sat across the table and spoke. She take down a single note in all the while and wrote this report.
Sincere thanks to SK Srinivas for scanning these old newspaper clippings and making them legible. He blogs in https://sksrinivas.wordpress.com/