Undertaking an unusual odyssey

BOOK TALK

The audience were taken on an exploration of Indian classical music at the launch of The Music Room by Namita Devidayal in the City last week. The book explores the relationship between the author and music.

Music Room is Namita’s first book which has also won the 2008 Crossword Popular Book Award. This refreshing memoir revolves around the life experiences of three Jaipur Gharana vocalists Alladiya Khan, Kesarbai and Dhondutai.

The book has different layers. It talks about a modern girl attempting to learn Indian classical music from Dhondutai.

The other issues that the author addresses are women artistes and connection between religion and music. The book is a combination of the author’s personal experiences and her indepth research.

Later on, the author read out a couple of extracts from the book and also played songs sung by Dhondutai and Kesarbai. The extracts, which were read out, revolved around Dhondutai, Kesarbai, Alladiya Khan and about herself when she was a little girl.

Namita Devidayal says, “The book is not just about a physical space where you learn singing, it is about a mental space or a kind of metaphor for a space where I would enter with someone with a rich tradition in music, inhabited by great people like Alladiya Khan, Kesarbai, Dhondutai,” and adds, “This kind of music is the closest to spirituality.”

Namita says she has attempted to portray the connection between music and Dhondutai in the best possible way. She has drawn a parallel between God and the world at large. Veeraja, a browser at the store observed, “the book sounds interesting to me. I was inspired by the music played during the book reading and was attracted to it.”

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