Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

The Music Room

Availability: Ready to download

When Namita is ten years old, her mother takes her to Kennedy Bridge, a seamy neighborhood in Bombay, home to hookers and dance girls. There, in a cramped one-room apartment lives Dhondutai, the last living disciple of two of the finest Indian classical singers of the twentieth century: the legendary Alladiya Khan and the great songbird Kesarbai Kerkar. Namita begins to When Namita is ten years old, her mother takes her to Kennedy Bridge, a seamy neighborhood in Bombay, home to hookers and dance girls. There, in a cramped one-room apartment lives Dhondutai, the last living disciple of two of the finest Indian classical singers of the twentieth century: the legendary Alladiya Khan and the great songbird Kesarbai Kerkar. Namita begins to learn singing from Dhondutai, at first reluctantly and then, as the years pass, with growing passion. Dhondutai sees in her a second Kesarbai, but does Namita have the dedication to give herself up completely to the discipline like her teacher? Or will there always be too many late nights and cigarettes? And where do love and marriage fit into all of this?  A bestseller in India, where it was a literary sensation, The Music Room is a deeply moving meditation on how traditions and life lessons are passed along generations, on the sacrifices made by women through the ages, and on a largely unknown, but vital aspect of Indian life and culture that will utterly fascinate American readers.


Compare
Ads Banner

When Namita is ten years old, her mother takes her to Kennedy Bridge, a seamy neighborhood in Bombay, home to hookers and dance girls. There, in a cramped one-room apartment lives Dhondutai, the last living disciple of two of the finest Indian classical singers of the twentieth century: the legendary Alladiya Khan and the great songbird Kesarbai Kerkar. Namita begins to When Namita is ten years old, her mother takes her to Kennedy Bridge, a seamy neighborhood in Bombay, home to hookers and dance girls. There, in a cramped one-room apartment lives Dhondutai, the last living disciple of two of the finest Indian classical singers of the twentieth century: the legendary Alladiya Khan and the great songbird Kesarbai Kerkar. Namita begins to learn singing from Dhondutai, at first reluctantly and then, as the years pass, with growing passion. Dhondutai sees in her a second Kesarbai, but does Namita have the dedication to give herself up completely to the discipline like her teacher? Or will there always be too many late nights and cigarettes? And where do love and marriage fit into all of this?  A bestseller in India, where it was a literary sensation, The Music Room is a deeply moving meditation on how traditions and life lessons are passed along generations, on the sacrifices made by women through the ages, and on a largely unknown, but vital aspect of Indian life and culture that will utterly fascinate American readers.

30 review for The Music Room

  1. 5 out of 5

    Khush

    I give this book five stars because it is about Indian music. It is a tribute to music, to a tradition that is getting lost to modernity. I feel strongly about this loss. I wish it gets jelled into modernity rather than subsumed by it. Namita did a great job by writing this book; the book captures the slowly vanishing world of yore. Very often in the preceding decades or even centuries, people who really excel in music and devout their lives to pursuing such arts are not writers; and those who I give this book five stars because it is about Indian music. It is a tribute to music, to a tradition that is getting lost to modernity. I feel strongly about this loss. I wish it gets jelled into modernity rather than subsumed by it. Namita did a great job by writing this book; the book captures the slowly vanishing world of yore. Very often in the preceding decades or even centuries, people who really excel in music and devout their lives to pursuing such arts are not writers; and those who can write have no firsthand experience of music. In Namita's case, she knows both these worlds. She dabbled in both music and writing. That makes the book fascinating. Namita writes in great detail about her Guru Dhondutai. What is so admirable about an artist like her guru is this that she was so genuinely spiritual and immensely gifted. Often artists of high caliber in classical tradition show these remarkable qualities people associate with sophisticated human beings. When they sing, their music brings them to a spiritual trance. This has always been an aspect of Indian music tradition. It has always been entwined with the quest for the spiritual. However, personally, this is not what glues me to these artists. I want to know them because of their music, for the sheer beauty of their compositions. It further adds to the joy if their music has a spiritual (sexual) dimension as well. If the musical composition is only religious; it does not satiate the soul. While the book explores Namita's intense relationship with her guru, it also gives us a glimpse of a parallel world that once thrived in India. In her day school, for instance, it is not possible to build that kind of intimate bond with teachers. However, with her Guru, her ties are not restricted in the same ways. Her relationship is eternal. This comes out in the book most strongly. Another important feature of the book is that even though it tells the story of one true artist, in doing so, it tells a range of other stories embedded in the long tradition of Indian classical music. Although artists like Dhondutai are powerfully embedded in Hindu traditions, they are narrow in any way. A deep quest for music make true artists, like Dhondutai, unsee narrow differences that Indian society imposes on ordinary folks. However, artists are not always pleasant and amiable people, they have their quirks and failings. The book tells some such anecdotes about eminent musicians such as Kesar Bai Kalkar. The book in some roundabout way also tells us something about the impact of colonialism on Indian society. For instance, the writer at first was not very keen on learning music, she perhaps looked down at it. It must have been different from her day school. In fact, the impact of English education on the Indian elite is so decisive that they look (down) at their own culture as Western anthropologists do. In some sections, that comes out very clearly in the way Namita writes about her (poor?) guru. Language, for example, is one such marker that separates her from her Guru. Interestingly, such a marker is both a curse and a privilege. I guess who knows this better than Namita, having known English and someone like Dhondutai.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Vivek Tejuja

    I first read this book when it released in 2007. It has been more than a decade, and I decided to reread it. It has been a while since I cried while reading a book and this one managed to make me weep, yet again. The story of a mentor and a student, and above all music that binds them is beyond beautiful. It is so sublime that there were times I had to just keep the book aside, to only soak in what I had read. Namita Devidayal’s writing skills are beyond ordinary. She tells us the story of her I first read this book when it released in 2007. It has been more than a decade, and I decided to reread it. It has been a while since I cried while reading a book and this one managed to make me weep, yet again. The story of a mentor and a student, and above all music that binds them is beyond beautiful. It is so sublime that there were times I had to just keep the book aside, to only soak in what I had read. Namita Devidayal’s writing skills are beyond ordinary. She tells us the story of her music teacher, Dhondutai and does it with great empathy, feeling, love, and honesty. The Music Room is also about Hindustani Classical Music – it is so wide that perhaps only a bit can be covered in one book, but Devidayal does try to bring to fore what she learned, what her teacher learned, and in turn manages to enthral readers with every turn of the page. Namita started learning music from her teacher Dhondutai from the Jaipur gharana at the age of ten, at the insistence of her mother. And thus, begins a journey of not only learning music, but perhaps also learning how to be a better person. The book traverses the journey of Namita’s musical education and moves back and forth in time – tracing how Dhondutai got her musical education, how she became a part of the Jaipur Gharana (at a time when women were not taught music at all or the ones who did learn music were looked down upon or thought to be nothing but courtesans), how she was trained under the tutelage of greats such as Alladiya Khan, and the tempestuous Kesarbai Kerkar. The Music Room is a homage to a time gone by. I don’t remember or cannot think of anyone undergoing music lessons as of today and that too in Hindustani classical. But that’s not the point I am trying to make. The Music Room is a book that has so many layers to it – women empowerment, women who do what they must because they are passionate about something, men who do not bind, what music means – what it meant to rulers in an India gone by, and of course at the heart of it there is always music. It is because of this book that I became aware of ragas, of taans, of what raag is sung when, and it all happened organically – in the sense the book isn’t preachy. Thank God for YouTube so I could listen to the greats as I read about them. This is a book full of anecdotes, of life, of how we find ourselves in places where we least expect to be, and how life comes full-circle more often than not. It is a beautiful profile of Dhondutai, but my favourite portions were ones on Kesarbai. Devidayal writes about her mischievously, with a lot of love, and reverence as well. But when she speaks of her teacher – there is a whole lot of heart and you can sense the bond without it becoming too sentimental. Read it. Please read it. You must. Just must.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Neha

    This book is more than a story – it’s a tribute from a student to its teacher, to the generations of musicians and their struggles to create, excel in the musical gems and pass them to the next generations through tough training and trust, the history of the rise of a classical music empire and inheritance, the anecdotes and inspiring stories which live by word of mouth, and surely it is the soul of music – so gentle and pure!! I read somewhere – there is no one who does not like music and if This book is more than a story – it’s a tribute from a student to its teacher, to the generations of musicians and their struggles to create, excel in the musical gems and pass them to the next generations through tough training and trust, the history of the rise of a classical music empire and inheritance, the anecdotes and inspiring stories which live by word of mouth, and surely it is the soul of music – so gentle and pure!! I read somewhere – there is no one who does not like music and if there is he is a devil for sure. To read and view more: http://storywala.blogspot.in/2011/07/...

  4. 5 out of 5

    Rishabh Shukla

    The Music Room is a memoir of the writer's musical journey and learning under the tutelage of Gaanyogini Dhondutai Kulkarni of Jaipur Atrauli gharana. Apart from Vidushi Dhondutai, the memoir also touches upon the life of two other luminaries of Jaipur Atrauli gharana, and finest musicians of their times, Ustad Aladiya Khan and Surshree Kesarbai Kerkar. In a world where instant gratification far outweighs life long dedication, the book comes with an insightful perspective into lives of these The Music Room is a memoir of the writer's musical journey and learning under the tutelage of Gaanyogini Dhondutai Kulkarni of Jaipur Atrauli gharana. Apart from Vidushi Dhondutai, the memoir also touches upon the life of two other luminaries of Jaipur Atrauli gharana, and finest musicians of their times, Ustad Aladiya Khan and Surshree Kesarbai Kerkar. In a world where instant gratification far outweighs life long dedication, the book comes with an insightful perspective into lives of these reclusive musicians who are otherwise only known through their work and occasional anecdotes that are rumored around. Dhondutai's life long dedication to music and optimism at the height of the apathy her art and music form has been subjected to by the populace in general comes as a refreshing story (though heartbreaking at many places). I was able to associate with it even more because I have the privilege to know a few people who are on this path and struggle daily to continue this Saadhana.

  5. 5 out of 5

    M

    Marvellous memoir for lovers of Hindustani classical music. Namita is a mighty fine story teller.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Vibina Venugopal

    Before I go any further into the book I wanted to for few basics facts on Indian Classical music..Like the western music that goes with Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Ti Do., classical Indian goes with Sa Ri Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni Sa..The Indian classical music has two subgenres one being Hindustani music and the other Carnatic music., while the former is largely practiced in northern India the later is spread through Southern India...A distinct Raga (note) sung for a rhythmic tala forms the base of the Indian Before I go any further into the book I wanted to for few basics facts on Indian Classical music..Like the western music that goes with Do Re Mi Fa Sol La Ti Do., classical Indian goes with Sa Ri Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni Sa..The Indian classical music has two subgenres one being Hindustani music and the other Carnatic music., while the former is largely practiced in northern India the later is spread through Southern India...A distinct Raga (note) sung for a rhythmic tala forms the base of the Indian Classical music... I expected the book to be more to Namita Devidayal's account of music., though it is to an extend it is more about her teacher's dedication to music., though it turned out to be quite different...At ten Devidayal is dragged for music class much against her will by her mother....She is put off also due to the locality where Dhondutai lives surrounded by brothels, her walls outside home is all clattered by betel spit marks... The book explores on the relationship of Devidayal and Dhondutai and Dhondutai's relations with her teacher Kesarbhai Kerkar who happends to be a disciple of much accalaimed Alladiya Khan...Devidayal prefers for a swim upon music class but her mother drags her to Khondubhai Kulkarni..In those times in India it was customary for all girls to learn music to enrich marital skills (I still wonder why it was so)., though now children are taught music though not for the same reason anymore...Initially reluctant Devidayal slowly gets the hang of the classic music from her devoted teacher coming face to face with her dedication., Kulkarni stays single throughout her life for the sake of her love of music., she states one cannot have two masters as both demand too much....Devidayal also describes the true meaning of gharana and the difference between each gharana...Dhondutai was the only surviving child of the family hence she was named Kondu to cast off the evil...Dhondutai not only teaches the art of singing but full aspect of music, its history, music as an art., its tradition and cultural heritage...Devidayal keeps her life apart from it and concentrates more on the guru-shishya (teacher student) relation., somewhere along the memoir she mentions about her job and about her relations..There are beautiful anecdotes describing musical legends ..In a world that go by worldly possession and recognition there are few like Dhondutai and Keserbhai who live for the love of art without any kind of expectation., and this is that sets them apart from the regular crowd gaining respect...Another important fact is emphasized on clearly that no music can be learnt from books..There has to be a teacher who can guide you through., Dhondutai teaches Devidayal two important part of music one is breath control and another to throw voice., both she mastered from Jaipur gharana... Through everyday converstaion between Dhondutai and Devidayal the reader gets to bite sweetness of the knowledge of music....While Kesarbhai Kelkar was a legendary Hindustani singer of 20th century, passed on to Dhondutai and she stayed with her till her death in 1977...Though the book the depreciation of wealth for the singer as there are no more people around to appreciate the talent..Even Dhondutai is able to retain the success of Jaipur gharana that soared sky during the times of Alladiya Khan and Keserbhai Kelkar...Dhondutai's present house itself explains a lot about her finance ., yet she is content and happier than anyone Devidayal has come across..Her life is music and it stays that way until her death....Glimpses of Mumbai life is also scattered through like the travel is local trains, instant friendship among the passengers, the busy streets ., people rushing to get home and to work., slow modernising city....Devidayal writing is an absolute treat that keep you engrossed throughtout ..This book is a must read for all who wish to get a glimpse of Indian music and its heritage....

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ed

    What do you know about Indian classical music? Me neither. This critically-acclaimed memoir changed that. You learn much culturally-significant data along the way, with stories stretching across a hundred years of direct musical lineage, and eons of Indian lore. I still can't "hear" in my head when the author talks about notes and ragas...but that's what CDs & the Internet are for. I usually shy away from memoirs because they tend to bore me, but this is one such example that held me in its What do you know about Indian classical music? Me neither. This critically-acclaimed memoir changed that. You learn much culturally-significant data along the way, with stories stretching across a hundred years of direct musical lineage, and eons of Indian lore. I still can't "hear" in my head when the author talks about notes and ragas...but that's what CDs & the Internet are for. I usually shy away from memoirs because they tend to bore me, but this is one such example that held me in its grip from start to finish. As an engaging narrator who knows when to fill in the blanks, Devidayal has written a terrific book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Akshunya

    You want to achieve something, you need to be the best in it, you find the way of how to do it and then you commit yourself to do it. What follows is the eventual success (or a partial one in this case) in whatever you ventured out to achieve. In this seemingly simple trajectory, there is a lot that happens, and that everything happening in between is called Life. This is anyways what truly makes a life worth living, and the story told about in this book certainly deserves to be called one. If you You want to achieve something, you need to be the best in it, you find the way of how to do it and then you commit yourself to do it. What follows is the eventual success (or a partial one in this case) in whatever you ventured out to achieve. In this seemingly simple trajectory, there is a lot that happens, and that everything happening in between is called Life. This is anyways what truly makes a life worth living, and the story told about in this book certainly deserves to be called one. If you are a lover of music (Hindustani classical music to be more precise), you will thoroughly enjoy this book, as there are many stories which make you see the unearthly (or Spiritual) side of this Art form. What is really worth appreciating is that despite being a Hindustani classical singer herself, the author has not completely turned off her scrutinizing abilities, and there is a fine balance of Romanticism and Cynicism, where at one end you are introduced to this sublime world of Hindustani Music and at the other end also the ways of the people who at times are driven by Greed and Ego while taking many of their life decisions. The biggest takeaway for me from this book is the inspiring stories of so many people who with thier unfaltering commitment to this form of music, have undoubtedly (and fortunately) still kept it alive!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Carol

    Like it says in the book, this is perfect for music lovers. What a beautiful and enlightening story! If you have any knowledge of music, no matter how basic, you'll most certainly appreciate these memoirs. I learnt so much about Indian music, stuff I had never even thought would be different from Western take on music. They way they learn and how they view it. I find it beautiful that music is something passed on from teacher to student only, that there is no writing at all. It makes it more Like it says in the book, this is perfect for music lovers. What a beautiful and enlightening story! If you have any knowledge of music, no matter how basic, you'll most certainly appreciate these memoirs. I learnt so much about Indian music, stuff I had never even thought would be different from Western take on music. They way they learn and how they view it. I find it beautiful that music is something passed on from teacher to student only, that there is no writing at all. It makes it more important somehow, because you're making it your own, you give your life to your music and so it becomes a part of you. I loved that. And all of her teacher's story was amazing. Life in India is different and there is much to learn from musicians, how the were regarded back in the days, how female singers came to be, the hardships they endure for their profession. I could go on and on about all the amazing stuff I discovered. And I also managed to find some classical raga music on YouTube to put on while read,ing and let me tell you, it's a wonderful experience to be listening to it while you read.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rachana Yajur

    Reading the story of Indian Classical music was as mesmerizing as listening to the music itself. This book wonderfully brings out the story of the struggle to preserve the Jaipur gharana and the myriad perspectives of how music succeeds in breaking all the social/religious and emotional barriers. The history of this rich form of Hindustani music is pictured vividly and the reader is left to ponder about the present situation with both fear as well as promise.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Avid

    ‘This book is a must for every musician and music lover!’ – Pandit Ravi Shankar says the front cover of the book and that was enough temptation for me to pick it up. The book is about music and musicians. The main vein of the book is the life of Dhondutai Kulkarni, a highly regarded singer of the Jaipur gharana. Namita, the author, is a disciple of Dhondutai and this book is the singer’s life through the disciple’s eyes. The book begins with Namita meeting Dhondutai for the first time and being ‘This book is a must for every musician and music lover!’ – Pandit Ravi Shankar says the front cover of the book and that was enough temptation for me to pick it up. The book is about music and musicians. The main vein of the book is the life of Dhondutai Kulkarni, a highly regarded singer of the Jaipur gharana. Namita, the author, is a disciple of Dhondutai and this book is the singer’s life through the disciple’s eyes. The book begins with Namita meeting Dhondutai for the first time and being taken as a disciple. As Namita progresses in her musical journey, she unravels the life of her teacher. While the majority of the book is dedicated to Dhondutai, Namita gives us a glimpse into the lives of Alladiya Khan, Bhurji Khan and Kesarbai Kerkar who all had been Dhondutai’s teachers at a point of time. The book doesn’t sound like a boring list of anecdotes and incidents. Namita intelligently weaves the present and the past and also manages to sneak in a thing or two about Indian music, its origin and its history. The latter happens to be my favorite part of the book. Even for someone who is not interested in the singer as such, this book would still be fulfilling. It gives an overview of what a gharana is, how each gharana differs from the rest, the culture, and the much talked about arrogance of the singers. Namita even tries to justify why singers are short tempered! The language is simple yet effective. The author does not waste too much time in listing her own life incidents. She states as a matter of fact that ’she got married’ or ’she had a son’ and so on. She has no confusions about who the book is about. The book is visually pleasing. It has a black cover page with a woman sitting with a tanpura with her back facing. I found this picture so captivating, I would sit and ogle at the tanpura, its intricacies and what not. I wish the author was more creative in coming up with a book title. The Music Room is too plain for such an enriching book. I completely agree with Panditji that this book is a must for every music lover. I will also add that even if you are not a music lover, you might become one after reading this book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Deepak Mankar

    The Music Room. No, I’m not thinking of Satyajit Ray’s superbly visual movie, Jalsaghar (1958). I am thinking of a book. The world of books is populated by two kinds of denizens. So far as the first kind is concerned, you want to part company with them as soon as possible. With the other kind, you never want the tête-à-tête to end. Namita Devidayal’s The Music Room (St. Martin’s Press, New York, 2009) belongs to the latter sort. It is history told to perfection in the style of a fictional tale. The Music Room. No, I’m not thinking of Satyajit Ray’s superbly visual movie, Jalsaghar (1958). I am thinking of a book. The world of books is populated by two kinds of denizens. So far as the first kind is concerned, you want to part company with them as soon as possible. With the other kind, you never want the tête-à-tête to end. Namita Devidayal’s The Music Room (St. Martin’s Press, New York, 2009) belongs to the latter sort. It is history told to perfection in the style of a fictional tale. You could perhaps best describe it as an enchanting, almost seductive, personal narrative encrusted with details recalled with care and love. In the process of telling the life story of her music teacher, the author skilfully weaves in the history of Hindustani classical music with panache and an eye for exactitude in the many sub-narratives she offers. I’m a bit puzzled, though, by an obvious slip in this regard when she describes a peace concert at Shivaji Park after the demolition of Babri Masjid (6 December 1992). She writes that she was “all of seventeen” then (page 113). If she was born in 1968 as the blurb on the back fold of the cover slip states, she must have been twenty four at the time of the Artist Against Communalism all-night vigil. Mistakes happen. This minor lapse does in no way devalue the worth of her irreplaceable contribution to the cause of Indian classical music. I recommend The Music Room to anyone who is even remotely interested in music. A stupendous read, believe you me.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sandeep

    A personal story and a treatise of Hindustani classical music. A relatively unknown singer and her passion for music.... if you want to know the basics of Hindustani music and its rich heritage all woven into a beautiful memoir.. then this book is a must read :)

  14. 5 out of 5

    Samarpita Sharma

    My review: http://sankshvet.blogspot.in/2012/11/...

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mridula

    LOVED this book! If you've learned Indian classical music or even if you're just a lover, you should read this book. I implore you.

  16. 5 out of 5

    amit deshpande

    The maestro and one of the greatest from the generations Pandit Ravi Shankar acclaimed the book as “Fantastic! A must for every musician and music lover!” and that was all the reason for me to pick this book from Namita Devidayal. It’s her debut in book-writing and went on to win Vodafone Crossword Popular Book Award An Outlook Book 2007!! If you heard a note on tanpura and dwell a moment longer while passing by, then it’s a book for you. If a flute player at bus stand or railway station makes The maestro and one of the greatest from the generations Pandit Ravi Shankar acclaimed the book as “Fantastic! A must for every musician and music lover!” and that was all the reason for me to pick this book from Namita Devidayal. It’s her debut in book-writing and went on to win Vodafone Crossword Popular Book Award An Outlook Book 2007!! If you heard a note on tanpura and dwell a moment longer while passing by, then it’s a book for you. If a flute player at bus stand or railway station makes you search for that melodic voice, then it’s a book for you. If you divert your path in the direction of devotional song not fascinated by grace of God but by lovely music that lure your heart, then it’s a book for you!! Because, many of us, unknowingly though, are souls entertained by purity of music that transcend the surroundings and levels us up, may be by inch or so. This book does exactly same to us. It’s a story – more on the lines of memoir – of a young girl pursued, initially against the will, to learn Hindustani Classical Music from the Pandita Dhondutai Kulkarni – one of the last devoted scholars from the gharana well established by legendary Alladiya Khan. On the journey from a young girl to matured lady, Namita shared her growing passion for this art form. The history of three generations from gharana and smoothly but unnoticeable personal thread tied up together so well. It shreds enough technical details of the music and how different form of art it is compare to western classical but nowhere bombards with it to bore you down. Dhondutai’s special relationship bonded over teacher-student with one of the greatest singers ever produced by Hindustani Classical – the tempestuous Kesarbai Kerkar, keeps reader continue to read till last. The book that narrates her teacher’s struggle to excel, constant thirst to learn and practice and to keep the uniqueness of gharana alive received – moreover pursued – inherently. A true tribute to Hindustani Classical music, her teacher Pandita Dhondutai Kulkarni and the earlier generations of Jaipur Gharana!!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Srijita

    "I had begun to realise, in the smallest way, that this music had celestial roots and that those who had entered its folds and drunk its notes generally floated a few inches above this mortal universe." - Namita Devidayal, The Music Room .... .... It is safe to say that this book was like a breath of fresh air. Briefly, it's a memoir of the author and the music teacher, Dhondutai Kulkarni, the last surviving student of the Jaipur-Atrauli Gharana of music, founded by the infamous Alladiya Khan. .... "I had begun to realise, in the smallest way, that this music had celestial roots and that those who had entered its folds and drunk its notes generally floated a few inches above this mortal universe." - Namita Devidayal, The Music Room .... ✨ .... It is safe to say that this book was like a breath of fresh air. Briefly, it's a memoir of the author and the music teacher, Dhondutai Kulkarni, the last surviving student of the Jaipur-Atrauli Gharana of music, founded by the infamous Alladiya Khan. .... ✨ .... Filled with beautiful anecdotes and insights of the musical world of Dhondutai, the book is a narration of Namita's tutelage under her and also, Dhondutai's tutelage under Bhurji Khan, son of Alladiya Khan and later under the tempestuous Kesarbai Kerkar, the Gharana's most famous singer, a woman born way ahead of her time. .... ✨ .... As a reader progresses with the book he is bound to be transferred in a world of classical music, Tanpuras and Tablas. The book gives quite an insight of what goes into the making of an artiste; dedication, devotion and passion, for music is a way to reach the divine and it must be treated that way. 5⭐

  18. 5 out of 5

    Hrishikesh

    Brilliantly written. It can be read as fiction, but it's actually an autobiographical account of the author's experience with her teacher, Dhondutai Kulkarni (who passed away in 2014), one of the last great singers of the Jaipur gharana, with life accounts of other luminaries of the gharana. Written as sequences of flashbacks, she weaves anecdotes about her guru, her guru's guru and other singers, notably Alladiya Khan, into a very readable account. If for nothing else, read it for the insights Brilliantly written. It can be read as fiction, but it's actually an autobiographical account of the author's experience with her teacher, Dhondutai Kulkarni (who passed away in 2014), one of the last great singers of the Jaipur gharana, with life accounts of other luminaries of the gharana. Written as sequences of flashbacks, she weaves anecdotes about her guru, her guru's guru and other singers, notably Alladiya Khan, into a very readable account. If for nothing else, read it for the insights into Hindu-Muslim syncretism that existed (and still does) in Hindustani classical music - where music is the real religion of the musician, irrespective of what they were born into. I left out one star because the author has put unnecessary stress on this at some points - even when it's evident - and this breaks the flow of the tale.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Gourang Ambulkar

    Well written memoir of a great from the bygone era. The author in my opinion fell short of staying loyal to the responsibilities of sketching a biography. She hasn't divulged all about the person. Whatever her reasons could be Namita has kept Dhondutai's opinions about her rivals, about music of other gharanas out of reader's reach. As a music student, I was also left wanting to know how she practiced and her expectations from students as regards to their practice. In Namita's defence one can Well written memoir of a great from the bygone era. The author in my opinion fell short of staying loyal to the responsibilities of sketching a biography. She hasn't divulged all about the person. Whatever her reasons could be Namita has kept Dhondutai's opinions about her rivals, about music of other gharanas out of reader's reach. As a music student, I was also left wanting to know how she practiced and her expectations from students as regards to their practice. In Namita's defence one can argue that she hasn't claimed this book to be a biography, but more of her sojourn with maestro with a sprinkle of anecdotal tidbits for good measure. Nonetheless, I was left wanting, perhaps like the music of the maestro herself.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kshitija

    How do I begin to describe this memoir by Namita Devidayal. It is one of the most beautiful books I have read this year. There are some books that you want to race through because you can’t wait to know ‘what will happen next’ and then there are some books that you read slowly while savoring every word because it is not the destination but the journey that it beautiful and important. The Music Room, debut by Namita Devidayal is one such beautiful journey, meandering through her memories and an How do I begin to describe this memoir by Namita Devidayal. It is one of the most beautiful books I have read this year. There are some books that you want to race through because you can’t wait to know ‘what will happen next’ and then there are some books that you read slowly while savoring every word because it is not the destination but the journey that it beautiful and important. The Music Room, debut by Namita Devidayal is one such beautiful journey, meandering through her memories and an ode to her music teacher Dhondutai Kulkarni.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jyotirmoy Paul

    A very practical book regarding Hindustani Classical Music. The book, although written primarily about the experience of the Author while learning music from Dhadhutai Kulkari, will take you to each building blocks of Jaipur-Atrauli Gharana. Namita, in her different narrative, will talk about Ustad Alladiya Khan and his family; his relation with Kesar Bai Kerkar and smoothly transit into Kesar Bai's life. Social conditions at that time is beautifully portrayed via Kesar Bai's story.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rohan Khadilkar

    A splendid account of Dhondutai Kulkarni and her magnificient Gurus! Love how Namita makes Dhondutai's persona alive in blood and flesh through her writing. Personally like the historical account of how the Jaipur Gharana originated, highly informative! Favorites are the special chapters dedicated to her Gurus - especially the ones on Ustad Alladiya Khan and Surashri Kesarbai Kerkar. Fabulous and must read for all music connoisseurs. Loved it :)

  23. 5 out of 5

    Shruthi Kumar

    It was like viewing into the intimate space between a guru and shishya. There were instances that brought tears to my eyes. The description of Jaipur gharana was more emotional and touching than technical and for this I am thankful to the author.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Hetal Patel

    Music being an integral part of Indian culture, this book had been on my list for a while. This book brings out the significance and nuance of different Ragas, and different eras of Indian music. Both of which I enjoyed in this book.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Anjana

    3.5 stars

  26. 4 out of 5

    Just one more page please

    Beautifully written book...

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ranjana

    A journey through the historical musical saga enveloped in the almost forgotten guru-shishya parampara. A world where art/music was considered enriching lives melded with the bias treatment towards artists/female performers and an everlasting and invisible oath of saving musical gharanas for the survival of self.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Suresh Nair

    Definitely worth a read for Hindustani Classical music lovers. Its a lovely tribute from a student to her teacher.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Amruta

    It was a decent read. Seemed really promising in the beginning, but dragged later on, when the story became less about music and more about the musicians.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Shreyans Goenka

    A lovely book that makes music come alive!

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.