Book Review: The Music Room by Namita Devidayal
- ISBN 978-8-184-00054-2
- Genre Fiction
- Pages 310
- Publisher Random House India
- Price Rs. 295/- ( I got this book for review from the publisher)
Having learnt Carnatic music (instrumental) for 8 years I share a very beautiful bond with music. I believe music is the language of the soul. The biggest example for this is my music teacher - who is suffering from Alzheimer’s today and has forgotten everything but music; the moment you start playing any musical piece her fingers automatically start drumming the talam. Isn’t it astounding?
There are many reasons why I chose this book. Firstly and most importantly for it is about a guru and a shishya, which reminded me of my teacher, secondly it about learning music and thirdly it is about learning much more than just music. It is about learning how to live, love, listen to your heart and most importantly know your real self. All this makes The Music Room by Namita Devidayal a very special read for me.
Behind the Book
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“Fantastic ! A must read for every musician and music lover!” – Pandit Ravi Shankar
About the author
Namita Devidayal was born in 1968 and graduated from Princeton University. The Music Room, winner of the Vodafone Crossroad Popular Book Award 2007 and named an Outlook book of 2007, is her first book. A journalist with The Times of India, she lives in Mumbai. To read more click here.
This book is biographical in nature wherein the author has shared her own experiences of learning music with Dhondutai, a highly respected music teacher from the Jaipur gharana. Like any ten year old Namita is forcefully taken to a music class by her mother; which she resents. The reason she resents is more because of the surroundings. The sentiments of Namita’s mother behind sending her to a music class are very nicely depicted. As in the olden days a girl well versed with the knowledge of music was considered to be virtuous.
It is very touching to see Namita gradually fall in love with music and absorb it into every part of her being. As Namita observes Dhondutai’s dedication to music she realises that music is much more than just ragas and taalams. Learning music opens new windows for her through which she sees a different life. She sees the endless possibilities that are spread out before her. She understands what dedication is when she sees Dhondutai remain unmarried her entire life only for the sake of music. She sees a new form of love when she feels music in her every heart beat. She recognizes life as she hears music in almost everything around her. Dhondutai sees her as next Kesarbai, a very famous singer; and it is her belief which pushes Namita to keep giving her best till she succeeds.
This book is a well written one covering various aspects of music in a lot of detail. The author has explained minute details related to music like the various gharanas and their history. It is said when you do something which is close to your heart, the results are fabulous. The author has taken a subject which is very close to her heart. Her passion for the same reflects in her writing creating a mesmerizing effect on the reader.
Previously I had read Aftertaste by the same author, after which I was a bit reluctant to read another work by her. But this book took me by surprise. This is undoubtedly one of the best works by the author and hence has been graced with so many awards too.
If you are a music lover then you should read this book as it makes you feel proud of our cultural heritage. I am not too sure if a non-music lover would enjoy this book as much as there are certain portions which might seem dull to them.
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This book has been received from Random House for review