Lakshmi Devnath serves up a breathless narration on the life of the legendary violin maestro Lalgudi G. Jayaraman. It is like a Carnatic music Kutcheri alternating between Kalpita and Manodharma. As Devnath explains in the book, Carnatic music consists of two main modes. Kalpita and Mano-dharma. While Kalpita is the name given to the already composed according to the Raga characteristics, Manodharma is the creation of the performer’s imagination subject to the rules of the Raga. The book takes up both modes in equal measure. While there is a biographical sketch based on interviews in a narration mode, there is also the storytelling mode adopted by the author. It gives a tantalizing mix of anecdotal and narrative styles.
April 2014, volume 38, No 4