My Name is Gauhar Jaan! -
The Life and Times of a Musician


Release in Kolkata - 3rd May 2010

The resplendent Crystal Ball room of the Taj Bengal seemed like a take from the past—the havelis of the zamindars of yore who held their soirees in style as yet another characteristic of the famed babu culture! In this delightful venue, it was a home-coming of sorts for Gauhar Jaan as she stepped back into her home-town Calcutta, almost 80 years after she had left it for Mysore in 1928 at the launch in the city on 3rd May 2010.

The launch of Vikram’s book at Kolkata was aptly done by the stalwart of the Banaras gharana and one of the last surviving links to the thumri, Smt. Girija Devi. She was accompanied by eminent industrialist and music patron Shri Harshavardhan Neotia.

Girijaji commended the author’s efforts in ensuring that long forgotten artist like Gauhar was revived and recounted the Banaras link, the era of the tawaifs in performing arts and regretted the lack of documentation in music. Shri Neotia also had praise for the book and the research that had gone into it.

A spirited reading of passages from the book by renowned theatre personality Smt. Punam Singh left everyone moist-eyed and electrified. The ambience was made all the more special with Gauhar’s tantalizing voice lurking behind in the background and creating an aura in itself.

Several musicians, luminaries and members of the zamindari families of Kolkata including the Ghosh babus of Pathuriaghata who had sheltered Gauhar during her days of struggle attended the event which made it very nostalgic. The evening ended delightfully with everyone going back with memories of this long forgotten daughter of the City of Joy! 



My Name is Gauhar Jaan!

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