Reba Som studied history at Presidency College, Kolkata, standing first class first both at the BA and MA examinations, and obtained a PhD from Calcutta University. She was the recipient of the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship in 2000-02, and served as the regional director of the Rabindranath Tagore Centre, ICCR, Kolkata, from 2008 to 2013. Her publications include Differences within Consensus: The Left-Right Divide in the Congress (1995), Subhas Chandra Bose and the Resolution of the Women's Question (2002), Gandhi, Bose, Nehru and the Making of the Modern Indian Mind (2004) and Rabindranath Tagore: The Singer and his Song (2009). Reba Som is a trained singer of Rabindrasangeet and Nazrul Geeti; her compact disc albums, Selected Songs of Rabindranath Tagore (Saregama, 2005) and Love Songs of Kazi Nazrul Islam (Times Music, 2016), include her English translations of the lyrics.
Among all disciples of Swami Vivekananda, Sister Nivedita occupies pride of place. Margaret Noble arrived at India's shores in the late nineteenth century, took the vows of a brahmacharini, and devoted the rest of her life to the cause of India. Apart from educating women, Nivedita wrote valuable treatises on Hindu thought and Indian culture, inspiring nationalist sentiment and unity. She won over leading national figures of the day with her fierce intellect, and even influenced the ending of Rabindranath Tagore's novel, Gora. Known to be 'drunk with India', she provided immense professional support to the brilliant scientist Jagadish Chandra Bose; dialogued with great leaders like G.K. Gokhale and Aurobindo Ghosh; and inspired Abanindranath Tagore to create a painting that eventually became the iconic Bharat Mata. In this compelling biography, the author traces the development of Margaret from a loyal Irish woman into Sister Nivedita, and finally into 'Lok Mata' or 'People's Mother'-a title bestowed on her by Tagore. She draws on Nivedita's vast corpus of writings and personal letters to provide an intimate view of her life and thought. Through an insightful and moving narrative, Margot reveals the feisty, irrepressible spirit behind one of India's greatest friends.