Celebrating the Arts: Forty Years of the International Music and Arts Society in Bangalore
Urmila Devi Kotda Sangani, Indira Chandrasekhar and Prateeti Punja Ballal
Dr. Indira Chandrasekhar is a scientist, a writer, a literary curator and the founder and principal editor of Out of Print, an award-winning literary platform for short fiction bearing a connection to the Indian subcontinent. The magazine, that just published its fiftieth issue, marked its tenth year with a print anthology that was published with Context, the literary imprint of Westland Publishers. The book was first made public at the Bangalore Literature Festival in December 2020. The book was reissued in 2023.
Indira’s primary focus as a writer is prose. As a fiction writer, she focuses on the short form, drawing deeply on her scientific experience working with the subtle complexities of biological macromolecules. Her fiction has won awards and appeared in anthologies and literary journals across the world, and a collection of her short stories, Polymorphism, was published by HarperCollins.
Indira is on the Advisory Committee of the International Music and Arts Society in Bangalore where she is the lead author of a volume commemorating the Society’s first forty years. A member of the Development Council of the G5A Foundation for Contemporary Culture, Mumbai, she mentors the organisation’s arts and literature journal, Imprint. She is one of the founders of the recently established platform, Print.Able, that features work by the neurodiverse.
Urmila Devi Kotda Sangani
Urmila Devi Kotda Sangani is the President of the International Music and Arts Society founded by her mother, Rani Vijaya Devi, the sister of the late Maharaja Jaya Chamaraja Wadiyar, the last Maharaja of Mysore to rule the state.
Urmila Devi schooled in New York, Colombo, Rome and Delhi when her diplomat father was posted in these cities. She finished school in Ooty and later completed her BA as a rank holder at Mount Carmel College, Bangalore University. Travel and diplomatic life with her parents widened her horizons and she inherited a love of the arts, particularly Western classical music, from her mother, Rani Vijaya Devi, an accomplished pianist, whose family were known for their patronage of the arts.
She worked for several years in the garment export industry heading the liaison office of an American buying agent in Bangalore before she joined the International Music and Arts Society to devote herself to the promotion of the arts. Her other interests are travel, reading and the environment, and she has served as an honorary Trustee of the Bangalore Environment Trust.
Prateeti Punja Ballal
Prateeti Punja Ballal grew up in Bangalore and did her postgraduate work in the US. She taught Literature at various universities there, most recently at Hunter College, City University of New York. She earlier worked in the software industry for fifteen years. She has been a recipient of a Mellon fellowship for her research and several regional and international awards for her technical publications. A musician and dancer, she has a sustaining interest in the arts.