Part One: Two Journeys through the History of Hindustani Music
November 20, 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 this conversation organised at the May Day Bookstore, the authors of the two books talk to Ashwini Deshpande, who teaches at Ashoka University, about the making of the books, the complex lives their protagonists lead, how these complexities are perceived and more.
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.
Donate to the Indian Writers' Forum, a public trust that belongs to all of us.