Legendary singer Naina Devi was born into a Bengali Brahmo Samaj reformist family in the early years of the twentieth century. She grew up in an atmosphere of music, dance, theatre and social reform. However, her marriage to Rajkumar Ripjit Singh at the tender age of seventeen, gave way to a life of grandeur and seclusion. Despite seventeen years of silence necessitated by the norms of a royal household, she returned to music to experience a glorious career as a singer, arts-administrator, teacher and patron after the tragic death of her husband.
Heart to Heart traces Naina Devi\'s incredible story as told to her disciple, Vidya Rao. It describes the changes in the world of Indian classical music, women singers and women in Indian society over the last century. Like an exquisite duet between historical record and memory, and between Naina Devi\'s voice and Rao\'s own, it illuminates the power and beauty of music, and the deep bond between Rao and her beloved guru.
About the Author
For many years the disciple of Naina Devi, Vidya Rao is a performer of the delicate style of thumri–dadra singing. A recipient of fellowships from the Ford Foundation, and the Department of Culture, Government of India, she has written extensively on music and the performing arts. She has been visiting professor at the School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, and visiting fellow at the Centre for Advanced Study, Jadavpur University, Kolkata.