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Birju Maharaj- The Master Through My Eyes

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Item Code: AZE181
Author: Saswati Sen
Language: ENGLISH
Edition: 2013
ISBN: 9789381523827
Pages: 212 (Throughout Color and B/w Illustrations)
Weight 650 gm
Book Description
About the Book
Pandit Birju Maharaj is not only an unmatched Kathak dancer but also a superb vocalist, a generous teacher, and an imaginative painter. The book reveals how this icon of Indian dance, who is a mentor for thousands and an inspiration for countless people across the globe, is actually an unassuming, simple person outside his artistic world.

Accompanied by rare photographs, this is a heartfelt tribute to a man who, among his many achievements, has spread awareness about the classical dance form of Kathak, not only in India, but abroad while touching innumerable lives along the way.

This memoir of the legendary Kathak maestro Pandit Birju Maharaj presents layers of his personality his simplicity, modesty, generosity as witnessed by one of his foremost disciples, Saswati Sen, who has known him for over forty-five years.

About the Author
Saswati Sen, regarded as one of the best exponents of the famous Lucknow gharana of Kathak, is the driving force behind Kalashram, Pandit Birju Maharaj's dream institution. She has received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, the Sanskriti Award, the Shringar Mani Award and the Critic's Recommendation Award. She has performed at the RIMPA (Ravi Shankar Institute for Music and Performing Arts) festival in Varanasi, the Kathak Prasang in Bhopal and Jaipur and the prestigious Khajuraho Festival of dance, among others.

After her initial training under Reba Chatterjee Vidyarthi at the Bharatiya Kala Kendra in New Delhi, she was awarded the National Scholarship in 1969 by the Ministry of Culture. She then graduated to become one of the foremost disciples of Pandit Birju Maharaj.

Perhaps this would be the first book on me that is written with a deep insight into every aspect of my life and work. After many decades of study and observation, Saswati has been able to capture my innermost thoughts and feelings. She has taken these experiences and penned them into this heartfelt memoir.

Even as a child when she was under the tutelage of Reba Didi I could see a commitment in her towards art. Her total dedication and surrender gave me the opportunity to mould her the way a potter moulds clay into a beautiful pot. Taal, ang, abhinaya, in all these facets of dance, she has seen and absorbed my training with thorough and complete understanding. She has trained with me as a performer, a teacher, a choreographer and an adept stage presenter. Her hard work and efforts are now the driving force behind my institute, Kalashram. I am very happy to extend my blessings for the success of this book and its author, my loving disciple, Saswati Sen.

Bharatiya Kala Kendra, Mata Sundari Road, New Delhi. A young dance student, dedicated to her learning, hurries through the sprawling lawns to reach her dance class on time. She gets a strange feeling as several eyes move with her and whispers get loud, though not discernible. She is aware that they are talking about her. A quick glance over her shoulder, and she rushes into the classroom.

My first dance teacher, Reba Chatterjee Vidyarthy, or Didi, as we called her, was probably the most caring and hardworking teacher for beginners and young aspirants. I was one of her most sincere students. Learning dance gave me great joy. However, the unsettling episode with the 'whispering group' kept repeating itself and soon I began finding ways to avoid class or change my timings or even my route.

In 1969, I was awarded the National Scholarship by the Ministry of Culture and this led me to seriously think about dance as a secondary profession (though my family dreamt of my becoming a doctor).

**Contents and Sample Pages**

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