One of the grand 'singing ladies' who began their lives in the first quarter of the twentieth century, Malka Pukhraj was educated in Urdu, Persian, music and dance. These latter two became her life and she began her career as a court singer in the erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, going on to become an independent performer, whose voice and words are now familiar to millions in the subcontinent.
In this remarkable, witty and candid account, Malka Pukhraj recalls her rich and eventful life. 'My birth' she begins, 'was nothing short of a miracle'. Then, in her simple and inimitable style, she takes us through her childhood as a court singer, her absorption in her music, and her bewilderment and than gradual understanding of the intrigues of court life. From singing and dancing, to acting, from childhood to adolescence and romance, and finally to marriage and family, the author brings the reader close to her sorrows and joys, her dilemmas and concerns, and ends with a moving and poignant account of the acceptance of old age, and all that it brings with it.
About the Author:
Saleem Kidwai is a historian who taught at Delhi University. He is co-editor, with Ruth Vanita, of Same Sex Love in India: Readings from Indian Literature and History (2000).
From the Back of the Book:
This must be one of the most gripping memories ever translated from an Indian language.
Song Sung True is one of those memoirs that make for compulsive reading. It is at one a rare and rich document of a woman singer caught in changing times and a remarkable commentary on the social landscape of South Asia in the first half of the 20th century.
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