Publication: Rupa and Co.
Price: Rs 195
Verdict: A well researched historical fiction with very emotive characters. But an attempt to be flamboyant and be on safe side fails to create the impact.
Rikin Khamar’s book is a peek-a-boo into the historical past of Mewar and Chittorgarh. This book is basically an attempt to recreate the lost glory of the Kingdoms long forgotten about. What remains are ruins of their historical past and the author wants to relive the mojo that once enamored the world.
The author dabbles into historical fiction and has done a decent task. The entire novel is based in the 14th century and the encounter between the Sultan of Delhi and the King of Mewar. The war, however, takes place over Queen Padmini who possess immense beauty, a courageous heart and sharp mind. Her beauty is so famed that the Sultan of Delhi could not hold himself back. The Sultan was so smitten by the beauty of the Queen and thus, wanted her to be a part of his harem. The book talks about Queen Padmini’s show of extreme courage and the willingness to sacrifice for her land.
The scene is of the 14th century with several instances to show the highlights of the Rajputs who once lived a glorious life. Many rituals like Jauhar are mentioned in the book. The author has an aim in mind to convince the reader about the awe-inspiring set-up of the historical saga. His attempt however could have been a couple of notches higher, keeping in mind the graceful past that he is dealing with. Without any accusations, the writer has chosen to write about a certain piece of history that until dealt with immense passion does not render the requisite results. The story does stage several instances that can be linked to history and have relevance which obviously means that the author has done his research well.
The author certainly knows the ability to understand emotions. With certain scenes that require a level of emotional understanding, that is when the author portrays his ability to conceive emotions. The entire novel deals with several emotions that play a crucial role in the formation of the plot. Sensible display of emotions lends the book its appeal. For example, Queen Padmini’s brilliant show of courage is an extremely good way to tell the reader what the author wants to convey.
However the author’s style of writing fails to create an impact. It is an attempt to be flamboyant or maybe his stream of thoughts cannot be conveyed accurately, something is just amiss. His writing skills are something that will evolve over time and thereafter give the requisite flavor that a certain book requires.
The book is not a classic. However it does have a certain appeal. It comes as a relief from the several books that only venture into safer territories and thus do not have a lasting effect. The author’s attempt at a fragile piece of history is commendable.