The Music Room by Namita Devidayal

'Fantastic! A must for every musician and music lover!' --Pandit Ravi Shankar.

'Gives us a unique insight into the guru-shishya tradition, and what eventually goes into the making of great artists.' -- Sonia Gandhi.

Now it is not common that a book gets reviewed by famous people like Pandit Ravi Shankar and Sonia Gandhi. And that is the main reason why I started reading the book. Of course, the title and the cover page did do its bit in helping me choose the book.

What followed is a journey, a real journey of Namita herself through the Music world and of her Guru's, Dhondutai's and many of Dhondutai's masters as well. The real-life story of Dhondutai, her entry into the music world, her father's support till his last, her journey, the masters, Gharanas and the like. The book describes in detail the various music legends, history of how music changed through centuries, the importance of Guru(Teacher) for a Sishya (disciple), their relationship, the hard work and efforts that are necessary for a student and for a teacher as well, the emotions that a Guru goes through while searching, agreeing and training his or her Sishya - the list is endless. It also clearly depicts the problems that good singers face from their competitors, how the teacher might be stuck between her own ego versus teaching and promoting the students sincerely. The amount of research and the knowledge of Namita is very obvious when you read through the book. The book talks about various ragas, the meanings, the best-times to sing them and all related information.

Personally, it is the best book I have read in the recent times. It cannot be read in a fast pace because the story is interwoven with details of various facts including invasions, emotions during the Independence period, and all that I mentioned above. I always wanted to learn music but somehow was never successful in continuing it for more than a month or two. But, the story was written in such a beautiful way that it inspired me once again that it might not be too late to try it out once again. As I write the review, I am still in a trance set by the commitment, belief, and the whole music history.

Great Job! It is a must-read for everyone, particularly the music-lovers. But, be sure to pick it in a time when you have the energy to go through all the pages. Do not settle for a hurry-read.


  1. Must be an enjoyable read The Music Room by Namita Devidayal. loved the way you wrote it. I find your review very genuine and orignal, this book is going in by "to read" list.

  2. Mohit, Do post your review here soon after you read it.

  3. Through my entire journalism career I've read lots of books, and this one is one that I can recommend everyone to read.


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