Mind & Music: Demystifying Thumri Maestros by Meenakshi Prasad

Mind & Music: Demystifying Thumri Maestros

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Mind & Music: Demystifying Thumri Maestros
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The point of this book is to understand the influence of psychology in the emergence of an artist, achieving high and maintaining the status for decades. A special feature of this book is that apart from utilizing traditional resources such as archives, private papers, newspaper articles, books, etc., the book has attempted to use the experience and understanding of grassroots-level participants in the field of classical music, especially of the Thumri genre. The exponents were taken for the study across four levels: Stalwarts like Vidushi Girija Devi, Pt. Chhannulal Mishra, Professor Rita Ganguly, Pt. Sajan Mishra, Pt. Ajoy Chakrabarty etc., for an in-depth interview, biographies of renowned artists (Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Thumri empress Siddheshwari Devi, and Begum Akhtar), young students pursuing higher studies in music and amateurs in workshop mode. All these artists have shared their stories of struggles. Even if they were not very happy during that time, their psychological richness helped them in reaching their goals and appreciating the lives they had. Upcoming artists were taught to work very hard and follow the quote on success by Jim Rohn: Don't wish if it were easier, wish you were better to achieve high. This book is a humble effort to restore the art tradition, especially of the Thumri genre.

About the Author

Meenakshi Prasad, a vocalist, and researcher from Banaras Gharana, a disciple of the renowned Thumri vocalist of Banaras Vidushi Savita Devi, daughter of legendary Thumri Queen Siddheshwari Devi, tried to learn the art and nuances of Thumri, dadra, chaiti, kajri etc., in the style of Banaras Gharana.

She was a Class-I officer in Life Insurance Corporation of India from the 20th Batch of Direct Recruite Officers. She resigned her job for the sake of art. As providence willed it, she was posted at major cities of Hindustani classical music gayaki, which enabled her to be in touch as a student as well as a performer. She is a graded artist of All India Radio. She regularly writes in newspapers and magazines on art & culture, especially on music. A post-graduate in Psychology, she always tries to discover the psychological strengths of people to help them understand their emotions and behaviors and manage them to lead a better life. The author believes that since psychology influences so many aspects of our lives, even people who do not intend to specialize in it need to know something about this dynamic field. Introductory knowledge of psychology gives you a better understanding of why people think, feel, and act as they do, as well as insights into your own attitudes and reactions. Her subject was one of the driving forces in gathering ideas for this book. She combines excellence from the world of academics and the realm of music. She believes in the principle of work until you no longer have to introduce Yourself.

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