Skip to main content

Book Review: Padmavati by Sutapa Basu

Padmavati by Sutapa Basu is a historical non-fiction book which tries to sketch the lost story of the Rajput Queen of Chittor. Padmavati also known as Padmini has been remained a hot subject of poets and writers since ages, and lately by Bollywood film directors.


Despite being a non-fiction book, this book has the charisma to keep the readers engrossed as this is such a compelling book which traces the ghosts of history. Readers may lose the track of time and look forward to finish it in just one go.

Sutapa has beautifully woven the characters and described the settings with such flawless detail and clarity that the emotions from that era to now to the readers are conveyed beautifully, and for this reason readers may feel transported to that world.

The assumed protagonist of the book is a journalist Mrinalini Rao, she is on a mission to discover whether the legendary Padmavati actually existed or was just a legendry folktale. In her quest, she meets Uma a local village girl at the Chittorgarh Fort. Uma catches Mrinalini’s attention as she claims passionately that she knows the true story of the Queen, as she had read Padma-wali, the Queen’s real story written by the Queen herself! Uma tells that Mrinalini turns her orientation to her upon knowing that Uma has collected Padma-wali from the ruins of the palace.

Uma leads Mrinalini through the fort narrating the tale of Padmavati as she had intended it to be told. As the tale unfolds, it becomes clear that the queen had her childhood and adolescent stage spent in Singhaldweep (Sri Lanka) and after marriage she is brought to Mewar region of desert. This journey gives the readers another opportunity to get transported from the world of Singhaldweep (Sri Lanka) to the dry beauty of the Mewar region.

The intermingled complications and politics of the royal household, the imagery, the dilemmas of the Queen and her husband Rawal Ratan Singh, the focus on the virtues of loyalty, consecration and friendship are effortlessly expressed in the book, event by event.

What does the movie offer is unknown but clearly, Sutapa Basu’s Padmavati is a captivating tale about the legendary, charismatic, highly skilled and beautiful Queen of Chittor. The secrecy holds the attention and the narrative flows easy which holds the mettle of writing.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Blue Umbrella by Ruskin Bond

Binya is a poor little girl living with her mother and an elder brother, Bijju, in a very 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 rich and well-groomed. 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 for villagers and children adore her umbrella so much that every time they feel like to touch or hold it. Binya is on seventh heaven and rarely closes it because she believes it looks charming when it is opened.
Ram Bharosa runs a smal…

Sparrows by K. A. Abbas – A Story about Hidden Kindness

K. A. Abbas was a master at writing short stories, presumably influenced by O. Henry. His work presents a different picture of India and is mainly based on humanity. He was the contemporary writer of that colonial India when the cinema used to run in black and white. Reading K.A. Abbas means exploring the old culture of India.
‘Sparrows’ is a brilliant short story. Once, the story ‘Sparrows’ was conscripted in the world’s best stories along with ‘The Lost Child’, written by Mulk Raj Anand.
A bit about Sparrows
Rahim Khan, the protagonist, is a stolid figure, almost devoid of emotions. He lives alone and the whole village is fearful of him because he brutally beats children and men on slightest pretexts. With time, he has grown so obtrusive and rough that streaks of humanity have left him. Why is he like that?
During the magnificence of his youth there was no one who could compete with him in the wrestling and other sports. It's his deepest desire to join Circus folk. In addition …

Book Review: Godan by Munshi Premchand

Like many other poor peasants Hori too wants to own a cow in a hope to elevate his puny social status to some height of self-importance. Much opposite to his circumstances, he purchases a cow at a debt of 80 rupees. However, things spiraled out of his control when he tries to cheat his younger brother, Heera, by 10 rupees. This haggle causes a huge fight between Dhaniya (Hori’s wife) and Heera’s wife. Heera poisons the cow and runs away to avoid being caught by the Police.

To settle down the cow’s death matter, Hori takes some loan from a moneylender and bribes the police. On the other hand, Gobar (Hori’s son) has an affair with a widow Jhunia. When Jhunia is pregnant with his child, Gobar runs away to the city to escape the wrath of the villagers. But then Jhunia is taken into care by Hori and his family. Because of Jhunia’s issue, the village Panchayat orders Hori to pay a penalty amount for his son’s deeds. Thus, Hori again takes the loan from moneylenders. As the debt increases o…