Pune’s iconic Wrangler bungalow is razed to make way for an educational facility

The iconic bungalow that belonged to Sir Raghunath Purushottam Paranjpye, also the first Indian to be awarded the coveted title of Senior Wrangler at Cambridge University, is falling. Standing for years in the alley of the Vaishali Hotel on Fergusson College Road, this iconic structure where Wrangler’s daughter, Padmabhushan Awardee Shakuntala Paranjpye and later his daughter Sai Paranjpye, also a Padma awardee, lived, will finally make way for an establishment education under the aegis of Deccan Education Society (DES).

This is an iconic bungalow for those who grew up in the back streets of the FC road. Dr Gautam Govitrikar tweeted: “One of Pune’s iconic bungalows is collapsing. That of Wrangler Paranjpe. I’ve lived in the adjacent lane all my life and we all feel sad like we’ve lost a family member. (sic)

This tweet brought back memories to many Punekars who have lived in this alley as, a Vaibhav Purandare replied, “The writings of Shakuntala Paranjpye are filled with vivid descriptions of life in this bungalow. With his father, his daughter (filmmaker SaiParanjpye) and their many cats and characters.

It was in 1907 that Paranjpye became the first librarian of the Indian It Mathematical Society at Fergusson College, then became the principal of the college and remained in that position for two decades, until 1926.

When HT got in touch with her granddaughter Sai Paranjype, she said, “I don’t want to comment on this and I’m busy with work.”

The iconic bungalow is owned by the Deccan Education Society. Sharad Kunte, Chairman, Council and Governing Body, said: “Wrangler Paranjype had legally bequeathed his bungalow on Ferguson Road to the Deccan Education Society. According to their wish, the institute will use this place for educational courses. New construction is underway for this.

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