Skip to main content

Book review: By The Tungabhadra by Saradindu Bandopadhyay

By The Tungabhadra by Saradindu Bandopadhyay is a historical fiction written in 1965. The original piece was written in Bengali but now available as translated English version by Arunava Sinha. The backdrop of the novel stretches Vijayanagar to Kalinga of fourteenth century. Basically, the story is about two sisters Bidyunmala and Manikanakana. They both are the ravishing princesses of the kingdom of Kalinga, currently known as Orissa.

The king of Vijayanagar Empire is Devaraya. On account of a political agreement, Bidyunmala is arranged to marry Devaraya. She is unhappy about the prospect because Devaraya already has three wives. The marriage voyage starts from Kalinga on barges to reach the bank of Tungabhadra. En route they save a man drowning. He joins them, his name is Arjunvarma and then soon Bidyunmala feels herself getting attracted to Arjunvarma.

Reading this book is like taking a journey in time. Once completed it will bring a deep satisfaction leaving readers lost in those pages, holding onto that era! Though his other work Jhinder Bondi is a great historical fiction, but this piece is matchless. Such is the setup of his work. The enormity and the splendor of these novels will strike you all at once.

For, Saradindu to conjure up so many shades and moods in the character, develop them and make them grow along with the story, to give each character his or her due is truly a work of master craftsmanship.

The empire comes alive as the author scans every nook and corner of Vijayanagar, his own creation, through his pen. The vivid and well-researched imagination is commendable. The natural beauty during the sunset at the lake Pampavati, and the two friends lost in their own thoughts, in a different land, reflects the uncertainty that creeps in with the darkness, the shadowy and the dark corner of the courtyard, synonymous to the betrayal of a brother, the hilarious physical description of Chipitak and Mandodari to the sensuous and ethereal beauty of Bidyunmala.

By the Tungabhadra is Saradindu’s final one in the five novels that he wrote in this genre. Best known for his immortal creation Byomkesh Bakshi, readers have immensely benefited from his novels, short stories, plays and screenplays.

For the non-Bengali readers the translation is just perfect. Arunava Sinha is a master translator. But of course reading it in Bengali language is more satisfactory. ‘Tungabhadrar Teere’, in Bengali or ‘By The Tungabhadra’ in English, is highly recommended read for history lovers.


Popular posts from this blog

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

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

Poem Summary: Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Ozymandias is a short poem of fourteen lines written by Percy Bysshe Shelley. The concurrent theme of the poem is that nothing remains intact and same forever in this world. Even the brightest of metal, one day decays with passage of time. The throne name of Egyptian King Ramesses is Ozymandias. It was his dearest desire to preserve himself forever by building a huge statue that he thought would never tumble down. Stanza 1: I met a traveller from an antique land Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed; Summary: The poet narrates the poem through the eyes of a traveler who seems to have come back from a remote and far-away land, referring to Egypt. The traveler r