In this book of reminiscences and records, Savita Devi along with Vibha S. Chauhan, lovingly and painstakingly traces the journey of her mother’s life—the life of the legendary Hindustani classical singer Siddheshwari Devi. The authors describe in detail, Siddheshwari’s rise from an uncared-for orphan in her aunt’s house in Benares to a famous classical singer and recipient of the Padmashree.
The book takes the readers through the gamut of her life, its struggles and glories; the rich and varied styles of music of the Benares gharana which she perfected; and her interactions with other artistes who gave shape and colour to Indian classical music. We glimpse the birth and evolution of a brilliant singer; we travel with her through her long years of riyaz under her gurus; we applaud her when she performs and reveals nuances of thumri gaaki hitherto unknown; and we suffer with her in her many sorrows, and rejoice when she tastes success both in her personal and professional life.
In this exhausitive and definitive biography on the life of the great vocalist, the authors show us intimately the angst, hardships, joys and sensibilities which are at the core of a true artiste.
About the Author
Savita Devi was born in 1940. Besides being a proficient vocalist, she is also an accomplished sitarist. From an early age, she underwent rigorous training and specialised in vocal music styles of the Banaras gharana, Purabi-ang, a form made famous by her mother. She studied classical music at Banaras Hindu University where she got her postgraduate degree.
In 1977, she founded the Smt Siddheshwari Devi Academy of Indian Music which is carrying forward Siddheshwari Devi’s legacy in classical music. She has performed extensively in both India and abroad and has received several awards. She is head of department of music, Daulat Ram College, Delhi University, and is currently engaged in research to develop newer ways of presenting the thumri style of singing.