Nilina's Song: The Life of Naina Devi

Paper Type: 130gsm Art paper (matt) | Size: 229 mm x 152 mm
Black and white 107 photographs; 216 pages; Hardback
ISBN-10: 9386906074 | ISBN-13: 978-9386906076


Nilina’s Song is an engaging biography of the musician, Naina Devi, whose extraordinary life took her through fundamental changes of environment and fortune. Each new turning point reflected significant shifts in history as well as geography, from the cultural ferment of post-Renaissance Bengal to the glamour of Viceregal Simla; from the glittering social life of royalty in the Raj era to the elegance of the Nawabi lifestyles of Awadh and Rampur; and finally to a newly independent Delhi re-discovering its identity. Through extensive interviews with her family and friends, the author traces the saga of a woman who re-invented herself and her persona, from the young Nilina, grand-daughter of Keshub Chandra Sen, steeped in the philosophy of the Brahmo Samaj, to Rani Nina Ripjit Singh, wife of an aristocrat of Punjab, adapting herself to a different kind of sophistication and refinement and then, as circumstances changed, to Naina Devi, seeker of music, who found her peace and her vocation in the world of the performance arts.

Asharani Mathur
Asharani Mathur

Asha Rani Mathur is a freelance writer and editor who made the switch from marketing to writing when she was associated with and wrote for, the former inflight magazines, Swagat and Namaskar; and later edited publications for the Festival of India, including the definitive ‘Indian Bronze Sculptures’ (with Karl Khandalavala).Subsequently she edited and produced books on aspects of Indian life and culture, as well as art catalogues and has written books on subjects such as textiles, carpets, shawls and jewellery. She has also scripted documentaries for television on the many tribal populations of India and has been the music producer for the record label Music Today, where she had the good fortune to work with some of the greatest names in Indian music. She was the editor of The Indian Media: Illusion, Delusion and Reality, produced for the Prem Bhatia Memorial Trust, where she is a Trustee.