Saturday, July 14, 2012

Nur Jahan's Daughter - Review

Nur Jahan's Daughter (A Novel on Mughal India)Nur Jahan's Daughter by Tanushree Podder
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

People who have heard of the Mughal Dynasty know of Akbar ,for he was the greatest ruler of the Mughal dynasty, Jehangir/Salim immortalized by his love , Anarkali and their tragic love story, Shahjahan and Mumtaz Mahal for their love story which has a physical personification in the Taj Mahal, Aurangazeb for being the last strong ruler of the Dynasty. and then, people know Nur Jahan , Jahangir’s Queen who was a political maestro.

But what about others who were connected to them? What about their brothers, sisters, fathers and daughters? What was their relation with their own parents? What about their personal life? Did they like being Royalty? What about the women? Where they subdued, did they live a dejected life or was it full of pleasure? How did they dress, behave? How must it have been for the women associated with the Dynasty ? Have you ever wondered?

If you have, then this is the book to read.

Ms. Tanushree Podder the author takes us back into time into the lives of the women in the Kings’ Harem through the eyes of the heroine – Laadli Begum. The (reluctant) princess - The title given to her by the very man, - her step father, Jahangir, who she felt was responsible for her father's death. We see the life of these royal people through her honest eyes.

The storyline is fast and interesting. I did not feel like skipping any pages or paragraphs ( except one in which a war tactic was described) The writing style is simple yet beautiful with Persian word strewn just in the right amount to make the reading pleasurable. All the characters were etched perfectly. The emotions of the protagonists’ were believable. Jahangir had a lover boy image - thanks to Anarkali and the filmmakers of India, but how false an image it was. The book reminded me that kings were kings first- ruthless, chained by their own power and ambition.

I liked the description of the palaces. As I have seen many of these places mentioned in the book, I could imagine as to how they must have looked during that time. I liked the detailing of their dresses and their customs. I liked the way I learned History of that era through this story -it was like taking a pill with a sugar coating. It felt as if the author had researched quite a bit before writing this piece. That’s one thing I love about historical fiction. You need to get your facts true though you may take liberty on the unrecorded parts. There, the creativity of the author flows freely.

Bottom Line - loved the book. If you ask me, Definitely worth a Read.

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