The Prabha Khaitan Foundation, in collaboration with Bharatiya Jnanpith launched the Hindi translation of historian Vikram Sampath’s book “My Name is Gauhar Jaan”. Titled ‘Mera Naam Gauhar Jaan Hai’, the book was unveiled by Sonal Mansingh, Sajan Mishra and Malini Awasthi, in the presence of translator Anshuman Jain.
Before releasing the book, a panel discussion between Dr Vikram Sampath, Malini Awasthi and Sajan Mishra was held. The legendary singer Gauhar Jaan, who was the first recorded artist of India in 1902, was a gramophone celebrity but has been relegated to the page of history without much acknowledgement of her huge influence on society.
She along with many other ‘tawaifs’ of her ilk had played a significant role during India’s freedom movement too.
Malini Awasthi described how Gauhar Jaan was perhaps the first woman artiste who established herself on her own in a male dominated world.
“In the guise of the life of a singer, the book is a history of riyasat, history of music and the account of such a brilliant singer. I felt the book gives a lot of important advice to any reader just the way my gurus imparted such nuggets to me during my training. Though her repertoire is available on YouTube for all to cherish, what one gets in the book is virtually unknown to nearly all of us. One also gets a rare glimpse of the guru-shishya tradition of India.”
Translator Anshuman Jain in his message said: “Translation is a process that makes us ignore any language, culture and helps us focus and highlight the human element. It is also believed that any translation of a work of art gives a new lease of life to creativity. I am glad that for the benefit of our Hindi readers we were able to dwell on the incredible life of Gauhar Jaan who happens to be one of the pride of our country.”