Narasinha Mehta of Gujarat. A Legacy of Bhakti in Songs and Stories.
Oxford University Press, 2015. 352p. Hardback. Neelima Shukla-Bhatt has written a beautiful book on Narasinha Mehta, a poet-saint beloved in Gujarat since the fifteenth century. His poetry has circulated in diverse ways across centuries and regions, through melodic everyday songs, the social justice of Mahatma Gandhi, and the global reach of YouTube, which demands the comprehensive and accessible elucidation that Shukla-Bhatt is the first to provide in English on this iconic figure. Importantly, Shukla-Bhatt considers Narasinha's poetry as a resource for healing a region with a recent troubled past, and for imagining a harmoniously pluralistic future. In the course of providing social history, Shukla-Bhatt brings the aesthetic possibilities of Narasinha's compositions to the fore: Read his poetry through her graceful prose, and be truly enchanted. Karen Pechilis, author of Interpreting Devotion: The Poetry and Legacy of a Hindu Female Saint of India |a 13/02/15 (Publisher's information).