In recent years books have begun to emerge on the lives of legendary musicians. The world of Indian music is built on anecdotes, stories and hearsay, all of which melt into the making of a chronicle. Two things happen here, one that looks at the personal, social and experiential aspects of a musician’s life and the other at the meat of the matter—taleem, riyaz, expertise, approach to raagdari, and other such technicalities. The beauty of this music is that these two seemingly distinct ideas are closely intertwined in understanding the person and his or her music.
Saran says she took on this project because she believed there was much that is not known about these great artistes—the keepers of our legacy of dance and music; she saw the need to document their life stories for posterity. Saran weaves together various facets of Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia’s life and creates a narrative through conversations—with Panditji, his family and close friends—that bring the reader closer to the person. Her sense of awe at his simplicity as a human being is almost a refrain through the various threads that she stitches together.