Namita Devidayal

2nd March 2019

An Author’s Afternoon is providing a platform to meet and interact with a new wave authors. Kolkata-born journalist and author, Namita Devidayal, is one such writer who livened up the 66th Edition of An Author’s Afternoon in conversation with famous Manipuri danseuse Priti Patel. Namita’s first book “The Music Room” is about a young girl who approaches the world of traditional music. The protagonist learns the universal language that unites all human beings. This book won the 2008 Vodafone Crossword Popular Book Award. Today’s session focused on her latest literary work “The Sixth String of Vilayat Khan”, which is not an authorised autobiography, but based on Namita’s observation. Her book tells us in detail about the legendary classical sitar player Ustad Vilayat Khan. The introductory chapters tell us about the person Vilayat Khan - who loved to cook and drive sports car. Slowly the book reveals a sitar maestro with an unparalleled virtuoso. A mesmerising ‘jugalbandi’ of Vilayat Khan’s sitar and his brother Imrat Khan’s Sur Bahar was something divine to the ears of the listeners. The author read out excerpts from her book that unfolded Vilayat Khan’s admiration for the Hindu goddess Parvati. She mentioned about decorum that musical families strictly adhere to. A minute-long masterpiece of Khan Saheb was played during the session which electrified the ambience. Namita had carried out in-depth research about Vilayat Khan, interacted with the musicians who used to accompany him. An audience described the session of An Author’s Afternoon as therapeutic and one that transcended caste and community. An audiobook of “The Sixth String of Vilayat Khan” is going to be available for the book lovers very soon.