When Peacocks Dance - Writings on the monsoon



Bismillah Khan – The Maestro From Benaras (Buy Book)

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The Telegraph, Calcutta
Mystic Melodies

Juhi Sinha's appraisal of Bismillah Khan’s life and work is that rare thing: a critical biography. Singularly devoid of the hagiographic aura that typically surrounds most writing on music in India, Sinha’s book portrays the shehnai maestro as a man of many avatars.
Sinha does not exalt either the status of the shehnai as a classical instrument or Bismillah’s legacy, but she also does not trivialize any of it. Instead of waxing eloquent on the powers of Bismillah’s music, she lets his career do much of the talking.
Some of the details about Bismillah’s personal life and predilections are arresting. Sinha reveals the unremarkable conjugal life that Bismillah had with his musically disinclined wife. But, as Sinha beautifully shows, Bismillah was gifted with a robust constitution and spirit, and he never let disappointments overwhelm him.
By Somak Ghoshal

The Asian Age
Pied piper of Benaras

Revisiting this fascinating journey of his life with all these attendant myths and legends is the biography Bismillah Khan: The Maestro from Benaras by Juhi Sinha. The author narrates how she serendipitously decided to write on him after having made a film on the Benaras gharana. Tracing his humble origins from the town of Dumraon, the author takes the readers through a captivating journey of his musical destiny that was so intrinsically linked with Benaras, its sights and sounds. Descriptions of how a young Bismillah had a mystical vision of Lord Balaji while he was deep in riyaz and his constant emphasis thereafter on creating that assar where music ceases to be just an art, but elevates itself to become divine make delightful reading.
By Vikram Sampath

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Beyond the Dunes – Journeys in Rajasthan (Buy Book)

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THE HINDU, New Delhi
No longer deserted!

JuhiSinha’s “Beyond the Dunes” traverses the genres of a travelogue and a memoir and is an account of the author’s visits to the State over the past 15 years. The book details the crafts not highlighted enough, be it the Bundi miniatures or the seller of stone crafts in the Jaisalmer fort.
By P. Anima

DNA (Daily News & Analysis), Mumbai
A story around every dune

Beyond The Dunes is an easy read for the armchair traveller. In punchy, sometimes humorous prose, Sinha describes her journeys through Rajasthan, both on holiday as ardent traveller as well as on film shoot as harried producer. What distinguishes the book is the way it looks at familiar destinations in new ways. Sinha’s explorations of the frescoed mansions of Shekhawati are written about, not in travel guidebook style, but rather through the quirky lens of a film shoot. Camel carts and desert dust interplay with the unfolding of a backstage drama of temperamental artistes, lights, cameras and attendants. The other reason to pick up this book is that it ploughs into territory that is off the beaten path and deftly weaves these episodes into the narrative. Historical and cultural fact sits comfortably beside vivid anecdote. Entertaining and effortlessly assured, this book is a romp for even a moderate fan of the travel genre. It may even prompt a trip to a land where a story unfolds around each dune.
By Sonia Nazareth

Business Today, New Delhi
A journey in prose – Beyond the Dunes

Beyond the Dunes is an engrossing travelogue which takes you… to the land of the Rajput princes and vast sand dunes.
By Dhiman Chattopadhyay

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Abdul's Eid
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Tina's Christmas
Published By Scholastic India.



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