Sawnet - Bookshelf -
Namita Devidayal was born in 1968 and graduated from Princeton University. A journalist with The Times of India, she lives in Mumbai.
Random House India (2010)
- Diwali 1984. Mummyji, the matriarch of a prosperous mithai business family, lies comatose in a Bombay hospital. Manipulative, determined, and seemingly invincible, Mummyji has held together her family through bribes of money, endless food, and adoration. Surrounding her are her four children: the weak and ineffectual Rajan Papa who is desperately in need of cash; Sunny, the dynamic head of the business with an ugly marriage and a demanding mistress; Suman, the spoilt beauty of the family who is determined to get her hands on Mummyji's best jewels; and Saroj, Suman's unlucky sister, who has always lived in her shadow. Each one ofnthem wants Mummyji to die. Aftertaste tells the story of one business family and its bitter dynamics: of resentful bahus, emasculated sons, controlling mothers-in-law, and rapacious siblings. For at the heart of family lies money, not love. Full of rare period details and insights into the world of Baniya families, Aftertaste is worldly, astute, and utterly riveting.
- Sawnet Review by Susan Chacko
- Review by Manjula Padmanabhan, first published in India Today.
- Review at the Booklovers blog
- Review at cnngo
- Review by Mumbai Boss.
- The Music Room
Random House, India (2007)
- When Namita is ten years old, her mother takes her to Kennedy Bridge, a seamy neighborhood in Bombay, home to hookers and dance girls. There, in a cramped one-room apartment lives Dhondutai, the last living disciple of two of the finest Indian classical singers of the twentieth century: the legendary Alladiya Khan and the great songbird Kesarbai Kerkar. Namita begins to learn singing from Dhondutai, at first reluctantly and then, as the years pass, with growing passion. Dhondutai sees in her a second Kesarbai, but does Namita have the dedication to give herself up completely to the discipline like her teacher? Or will there always be too many late nights and cigarettes? And where do love and marriage fit into all of this?
- Sawnet Review by Anu Kumar
- Of lost worlds and timeless spaces. The Telegraph, Sep 2007.
- Review at sarangi.info
- The ineffable world of classical music. Review in the Hindu.
- Devidayal at the Asia Society, with an audio clip.
- Ambassadors of their art. In the Hindu.
- 'The language we spoke and heard was that of music'. Excerpt and interview at Rediff.
- The Music Room sings an Indian love song. Review at straight.com
- Review in the San Francisco Chronicle.
South Asian Women authors