A tale of two houses in two cities: Mysore, Madras, and the magnificent mansions of Dr S. Radhakrishnan

Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, the former vice-president of India, taught philosophy at the Maharaja’s College in Mysore.

The expansive bungalow in which he lived in the City, a couple of roads behind his place of work, was ‘restored’ from funds donated by Dr M.R. Doreswamy, a legislator during the BJP regime.

It is not the best advertisement for restoration but at least it survives and now houses the department of philosophy of the University of Mysore.

‘Radhakrishnan Walk’, a little lane abutting the Mysore-Nanjangud railway track behind Crawford Hall, on which he apparently took a walk, has however been swallowed up by civic sharks.

But the restored Radhakrishnan residence in Mysore, with its massive garden, offers a near-complete contrast to the Radhakrishnan mansion on what used to be known as Edward Eliots Road in Madras (below).

The imposing name of his son and biographer Sarvepalli Gopal is inscribed on its gates, but it presents a sight of neglect, and has the dark forboding of land sharks hovering in its midst.