This impressively illustrated volume brings forth the evergreen spirit of a Muslim ruler of Awadh, Nawab Wajid Ali Shaw (1822-87), in composing love poetry taking a cue from the amorous Krishna leela and assimilating and practising the same in personal life. A trained Kathak dancer himself and a dedicated patron of poetry, painting and performing arts, Wajid Ali Shah immersed in the rasa of dance, music and drama, and got deeply indulged in the many an expression of shringar, while administering the political affairs of his state.
Recalling the different facets of Nawab Wajid Ali’s life, the book explores the state and fame of Lucknow, of his times, where the Nawab lived a life of refinement and pomp, and attracted the best talents in arts and crafts. It also portrays how were dance and music enjoying pride of place during his reign.
While presenting a penetrating account of Ali Shah’s poetry, the book revisits his musical scholarship, history of his times and presents his poems with English translation. It as well showcases the best paintings centring around his personal and cultural life, and guides one go through the religious and cultural harmony prevailed in Awadh where a lot of factors were at play effecting acculturation between the Hindus and the Muslims, popularly known as the Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb.