Pandit Jasraj launches new edition of his biography in Kolkata
First interaction on Rasraj : Pandit Jasraj in India by Prabha Khaitan Foundation
New Delhi/ Kolkata-New Edition of 'Rasraj: Pandit Jasraj', biography of the living legend Padma Vibhushan Pandit Jasraj was launched today in Kolkata. The book is authored by Sunita Budhiraja with years of interactive sessions with the maestro, his disciples all over the world, family and friends. The book has been published by Vani Prakashan. The event organised under the aegis of ‘Kalam’ by the Prabha Khaitan Foundation, which is an intimate interactive platform for writers and poets, a step of preserving the soul of Indian Literature, witnessed interactive session between Pandit Jasraj and Sunita Budhiraja.
The biography throws light on incidents and anecdotes about Pt. Jasraj from the time of his birth to the time he played Tabla and then to his becoming the topmost vocalist in Hindustani Classical Music. Rasraj: Pandit Jasraj is a splendid book that showcases the true mettle of Pandit Jasraj's journey in the field of Hindustani Classical Music. The discussion, organised in front of crème de la crème of the city, was centred around Pt Jasraj’s formative years as a vocalist in Kolkata. He spent his initial years in Kolkata learning music from his elder brother and Guru Pandit Maniram. During the period of 1949 till 1963, he was also teaching young disciples in Sangeet Shyamala, where these youngsters came from renowned families to learn music. The City of Joy became his hub for giving performances in the city as well as other parts of the country. Pandit Jasraj narrated many anecdotes of his life in Kolkata which kept the audience spell bound. Sunita Budhiraja has included these anecdotes and more in the biography of Pt Jasraj – Rasraj : Pandit Jasraj. On the occasion, Ms. Sunita Budhiraja expressed,"I am deeply touched by all the love and appreciation I have received for the book 'Rasraj: Pandit Jasraj'. I am honoured for the opportunity to have authored this book and this interactive session with Pt Jasraj, the living legend, Maestro of Indian Classical Music. It is a great moment of my life that Prabha Khaitan Foundation has organised the first interactive session in India around Rasraj : Pandit Jasraj.’
Addressing the audience, Pandit Jasraj said "I am very delighted that this biographical work
authored by Sunita Ji is receiving so much appreciation. I would like to acknowledge the hard work and congratulate her for the effort she has put in. She has written an astounding piece of work on my life, achievements, and struggles that make me feel deeply humbled."
Shri Arun Maheshwari, Managing Director of Vani Prakashan said “As publisher we feel elated that we have brought out biography of Pandit Jasraj Ji the dawn of Indian Classical music”.
The first launch of "Rasraj: Pandit Jasraj' took place in the U.S. The book has received two awards, which are 'Shreshth Kriti' 'Chhap Samman' Award 2019, in the non-fiction category from Amar Ujala Foundation and Vidhya Kriti Saman Award by Bhartiya Vidhya Mandir, Kolkata.
About Sunita Budhiraja
Ms. Sunita Budhiraja is an author, poet, and entrepreneur, and communications professional with an experience of over 40 years.
Sunita Budhiraja is a renowned Hindi poet and author with 11 books to her credit. She has written the biography of Pt. Jasraj titled Rasraj: Pandit Jasraj. Apart from "Rasraj- Pandit Jasraj", other works from her pen are "Saat Suronke Beech" that consists of informal and personal long interviews with legends of Indian music – UstadBismillah Khan, Pt. Kishan Maharaj, Pt. Jasraj, Dr. M Balamuralikrishna, Pt. Shivkumar Sharma, Pt. BirjuMaharaj and Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia. Other works include"Prashna Paanchali" ,Aadhi Dhoop", "Anuttar" and "Tees ka Safar" to name a few. She has also edited Coffee Table books about Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh. Her works have been translated into English, Rumanian and Telugu.
Sunita Budhiraja has initiated a Facebook campaign named SixYardsAnd365Days where a woman from across the world participate and post their pictures in handloom sarees. The virtual campaign has not only gathered a lot of momentum and has already crossed 31,000 members, many of whom religiously wear their hand-woven sarees with pride, buy hand-woven sarees, have their photographs clicked in the saree almost every day and post it on the Facebook page of this group.
And the number is growing. This is to support handloom sector and weavers.