LAKSHMI DEVNATH is a well-known researcher and writer in Carnatic music. Her articles and features numbering close to 200 have featured in journals, encyclopaedias and leading publications like The Hindu, Sruti and Narasimhapriya. She is a trained vainika and vocalist, has a degree in music and an admirable knowledge of Sanskrit. Her erudite articles have won her the appreciation of the scholars and the general public alike. Her passion, however, lies in familiarising India’s young with its glorious heritage through innovative stories. To this end she uses her imagination to come up with endearing narrative formats that provide a contemporary touch to the traditional subjects she handles.

Lakshmi’s first book was - A Class Apart, the biography of the educationist Dr. (Mrs.) YG Parthasarathy was released in the year 2005. The editor-in-chief of The Hindu, Mr N Ram was very appreciative of Lakshmi’s efforts and wrote in his foreword to the book, “Lakshmi Devnath, a worthy biographer with a light touch, an easy, accessible manner and an affectionate voice, tells the story well.” This book has had multiple reprints.

In 2003 Lakshmi took over as the managing editor of the English edition of Sri Nrisimhapriya, the religious organ of the Ahobila Math. She vamped it to give it a contemporary feel even while respecting the tradition that the magazine sought to propagate. In a bid to make the magazine interesting for each and every member of the household that subscribed to it, Lakshmi introduced several new features in it including a children’s section. It was in this section that she serialized the stories of the twelve Vaishnavite saints—the Azhvars. The stories that stayed true to the version found in the traditional source books were however embedded in a fantasy format that involved time travel and incorporated history. It had 11 yr old Poorva slipping back to the era of the 12 Vishnu devotees and experiencing their lives firsthand.

In 2007 “Poorva - Magic Miracles and the Mystical Twelve”, was released as a book by East-West. The interesting narrative with oodles of magic and lots of fun captivated the attention of the public and the critics alike. It went in for a reprint within a week and was a runaway success. This book was on the Landmark bestseller list and on its recommendations list for quite a while. This book was also translated into Tamil and sold very well in that edition too.

In 2011 Lakshmi launched the first-ever pictorial series on Carnatic music legends called Pictures of Melody. This series has evoked a lot of appreciation from various quarters. The former President of India Shri APJ Abdul Kalam has expressed his appreciation of the venture. The dynamic musician TM Krishna described it as a “Path-breaking effort and deserving of encouragement.” Leading Carnatic musicians like Sudha Ragunathan and Bombay Jayashri have recommended these books as a ”must-read” for all ages.

The projects that she is currently involved in include “Poorva in the Vedic Age”. A sequel to Poorva, Magic, Miracles and the Mystical Twelve, this manuscript was shortlisted by Disney Publishing House in the top 20 from almost 500 entries received from all over India.

Another forthcoming book, “Sargam” - a fascinating journey into the world of Carnatic music talks about milestones in the evolution of Carnatic music. A few extracts from this book were published in the Hindu and Sruti a few years ago and won the appreciation of one and all including the formidable critic Subbudu.

As a writer Lakshmi’s forte is that she can write comfortably on various subjects and for different age groups. Her other publications include “Lotus” - a monograph written for danseuse Anita Ratnam. Lakshmi's full-fledged and definitive biography of the living legend Sri Lalgudi Jayaraman is due to be published shortly by the leading publishing house, Harper Collins.