• Part Two: Two Journeys through the History of Hindustani Music

    Ashwini Deshpande in conversation with Saba Dewan and Namita Devidayal

    November 22, 2019

    Saba Dewan and Namita Devidayal are the authors of Tawaifnama and The Sixth String of Vilayat Khan respectively. While the former is a multi-generational chronicle of one family of well known tawaifs with roots in Banaras and Bhabua, the latter tells the story of the sitar maestro Vilayat Khan. In the first part of this conversation, they talked about the making of the books, the complex lives their protagonists lead, how these complexities are perceived. In the second and final part, they discuss the impact of Bhatkhande-Paluskar reforms and the advent of recording technology on Hindustani classical music. This programme was organised at the May Day Bookstore and was moderated by Ashwini Deshpande.

    Read more:
    Part One: Two Journeys through the History of Hindustani Music
    Sadabahar, the Tawaif
    “He may have been an ustad, but he never stopped being a student.”

    Namita Devidayal is the author of The Music Room and Aftertaste. She is a journalist with The Times of India. She lives in Mumbai.
    Saba Dewan is a documentary film-maker. Her documentaries have focused on issues of gender, sexuality and culture. This is her first book and has emerged from her trilogy of films on stigmatised women performers: Delhi–Mumbai–Delhi (2006) about the lives of bar dancers; Naach (The Dance, 2008) on women dancers in rural fairs and The Other Song (2009) about the art and lifestyle of the tawaifs or courtesans.
    Ashwini Deshpande is Professor of Economics at Ashoka University.

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