Random House India
The story of 'The Music Room' revolves around the life of Dhondutai, the only remaining student of the finest singers of the Jaipur gharana: Alladiya Khan and Kesarbai Kerkar. Namita, when ten-years old, is taken to Dhondutai, for taking music lessons. Living in sub par conditions, in a cramped one room flat, she sees a glimpse of Kesarbai in the little girl and takes her under tutelage. With this begins Namita's long association of learning with and admiration for Dhondutai, which continues for almost three decades. ? Though the book is dedicated to Dhondutai, the author does provide a glimpse into the lives of Alladiya Khan, Bhurji Khan and Kesarbai Kerkar, through the Dhondutai's eyes. Through 'The Music Room', Namita takes the readers back in history, that of the Jaipur Gharana, in particular, and Hindustani music, in general. She weaves the past and the present with such a commendable ease that one cannot help but feel admiration for her. The book gives an overview of what a gharana is and how each gharana differs from the rest.