Skip to main content

Book Review: Kohinoor by William Dalrymple & Anita Anand

Kohinoor by William Dalrymple is a non-fiction book based on the much highlighted and controversial diamond: Kohinoor.

As known worldwide, William Dalrymple is popular for his research and non-fiction genres. This time, once again digging the Indian history, he takes up a glittering, yet controversial, diamond to tell its stories that have been passed on from one era to another, and co-authoring him is Anita Anand. They have joined hands to help readers explore this diamond’s history.

The book takes the readers to a different world of past, starting from the Indian prehistory of the scintillating diamond Kohinoor to how the spiritual stories are associated with its origin. Where it is related to the Puranic Kathas and Hindu began to equate the diamond with the legend of Krishna. Author will take you through the different believes and stories mentioned in the Garuda Purana, Bhagavad Purana, Kautilya's Arthasastra.... to understand Kohinoor's origin and significance to the human race before finding its way to Delhi and then to many more rulers.

The authors have also discussed the Mughal’s era, where Kohinoor was the symbol of beauty and prestige, but still its origin remains unsolved though it tells how it goes into different hands.

Next era is of bloodshed, the era of Nader Shah, his lust for power and conquering brings him to a tragic end. Around the same time, the other stone started taking its place and popularity in the state treasury; like the Darya-i-Noor and Timur Ruby and meanwhile the Kohinoor takes its journey to Afghanistan.

After witnessing the lives lost of many, it becomes clear that none of its possessors lived happily. They keep losing something or other. In a nutshell, to whom it may suit was an arcane case. Despite that, it continued its journey from Persia to back in India into the hand of Shere Punjab Raja Ranjit Singh, his era too ended with bloodshed and lives of many. It is sad part of the history to see Punjab turning into the city of ashes. The chapter about Ranjit Singh looks very well researched and written. That’s why it is quite interesting one.

In the end, Kohinoor takes its position into the hands of East India company, but behind this there is  story of unfortunate boy and a mother, "Duleep Singh son and Maharani Jindan Kaur", seventeenth wife of Ranjit Singh. Their story ends with pain too.

The Kohinoor on its curse does not leave the lives of the British royal family untouched. The history speaks on its own; the story of Kohinoor, tale of greed, conquest, murder, pain, torture, separation through the south and central Asia and at the same time story of changing fashion in jewelery and precious stones. It takes its journey from the Peacock Throne of Mughals to the crown of Queen Victoria, but on stake of many lives and kingdoms.

At present many countries including India still fighting and trying to prove its origin and possession belongs to them. Is the Kohinoor again looking for to show its power of curse on its possessor or the mystery will remain unsolved?

The language, research and writing style of authors have left so much impact on readers that now they would be encouraged to read more of its history.

In the end it can be concluded that the Kohinoor diamond always remained a curse to its owner and for this reason it was never a stable a gem. Whether it is a symbol of pride or the symbol of curse to its possessor, the facts are hidden itself in the arcane sanguinary diamond 'Kohinoor. It is going to be an unsolved mystery of its origin and possession.


Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Blue Umbrella by Ruskin Bond

Among all Ruskin Bond books, The Blue Umbrella has, so far, gathered immense applaud from readers and critics alike.  This is a short novel, but the kind of moral lessons it teaches to us are simply overwhelming. This is a story of Binya, a poor little girl living with her mother and an elder brother, Bijju, in a small hilly village of Garhwal. One day while herding her two cows back home, she stumbles upon some city people enjoying the picnic in the valley. She is enthralled to see them well-groomed and rich. She craves to be one like them and among many other things of their, a blue frilly umbrella catches her attention. She begins craving for it. On the other hand, the city people get attracted by her innocent beauty and the pendant in her neck. The pendant consists of leopard’s claw – which is considered a mascot widely in the hills. Binya trades her pendant off with the blue umbrella. The blue umbrella is so much beautiful that soon it becomes a topic of conversation fo

Character Sketch of Binya from ‘The Blue Umbrella’ by Ruskin Bond

The Blue Umbrella by Ruskin Bond is a popular children’s story. It features Binya as the main character, though there are other important characters as well, but the story revolves around Binya and her little beautiful umbrella. The story is widely popular among children, thus it has also been included in the schools’ syllabus all across the country. Since it is often taught in the school, thus the character sketch of Binya is often demanded by students from year to year. Character Sketch of Binya from The Blue Umbrella by Ruskin Bond Binya is the main character of the novel ‘The Blue Umbrella’ by Ruskin Bond. Her full name is Binyadevi. As in the hills or anywhere in India it is a kind of trend to call children with their short nicknames. Binya’s elder brother’s name is Bijju, whereas his real name is Vijay. Binya aged eleven is a hilly girl. She lives with her small family in the hills of Garhwal. Her father died when she was two years of age. For sustenance, the

Poem Summary: Where The Mind Is Without Fear by Rabindranath Tagore

Poem by Rabindranath Tagore: Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high Where knowledge is free Where the world has not been broken up into fragments By narrow domestic walls Where words come out from the depth of truth Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit Where the mind is led forward by thee Into ever-widening thought and action Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake. Short Summary: This poem is written by Rabindranath Tagore during pre-independence days, when India was a colony of the British. The underlying theme of the poem is absolute freedom; the poet wants the citizens of his country to be living in a free state. According to the poem, we see that the poet is expressing his views there should be a country, like where people live without any sort of fear and with pure dignity…they should