Friday, October 17, 2014

Mastani Book Review

Mastani is a book which will change your perspective about our History. It is bold book that tells you how the facts have been tampered with and what actually happened was quite opposite to what has been narrated in the stories and folklores.

The story of Mastani begins with Bajirao and Mastani’s meeting and their marriage. The plot changes track in the beginning only when they realise that their matrimony is not what they had expected it to be. Mastani is not accepted by anyone in the household for many reasons such as her beauty, wealth, personality, wisdom and over all a Kshatriya background.

Mastani gives her 100 percent to the family and tries her best t fit in but he is constantly pestered for something or the other and is always caught up in allegations and controversies. Her reputation is spoiled on issues like her dancing in Bhakti when praying to Lord Krishna. People flood market saying she is a dancing girl and that is the tg that remains with her till her last days. Butl now, the story will change as Kusum Choppra tries to breakdown the myths set by the society then and bring the facts to light.

This novel in depth narrated the fact that mastani was not a dancing girl rather she was the legally married wife of Bajirao. She was an unexpected entry to the family and hence, was ot accepted by Rao’s prior family i.e his first wife (Kashibai), their sons, his mother and his brother. Even in the final stages of his life, Rao’s prior family keeps her under house arrest. Bajirao leaves the house in a rage when even after many explanations and confrontations, the family refuses to give Mastani her due place, the respect she deserves and an acceptance in the society.

The historical facts suggest that Bajirao died away from home due to a heat stroke and Mastani died while grieving. But, that is not true and was not logically expected and hence Kususm Choppra dug further into the realms of history to find out the truth. The second part of the book reveals the horrendous end of the story which actually revolves around incest and a suicide.
The truth is, that one night Bajirao’s son Rahu who was born from Kashibai, went to Mastani’s room and tried to rape her. Mastani, a woman of valor and honor chose to eat the poison stuck in her ring, rather than facing this huge trauma and humiliation. Point to note here is that this time she was pregnant with her second child.

Bajirao in fact comes to know about this later and he dies heartbroken and in grief. Now that is a shocking twist. What we have been always told, is quite opposite to whtahad actually happened. Bajirao’s son Rahu is unable to handle things after his death and faces degradation and so does the Maratha power. He went on to claim that Bajirao and Masatni’s only son was Muslim was named so too. So, the truth lies deep into the history and is unexplored.

Choppra brings out the conflict and the crux of the story beautifully. Her simple yet grandeur use of language makes the novel more interesting and an enjoyable ride. As a reader, you get completely obsessed by the events and episodes.

Mastani comes across as a strong woman, who knew what she wants from life and how she wants it. She is a symbol of peace and wisdom who uses her knowledge to end the household conflicts while holding a strong place for herself. She breaks the barriers laid down for women of those times. Overall, Mastani, the book is an interesting story weaved around a truth which was covered in dust, so far. 


Anonymous said...

I hope readers understand that the disclaimer in this book states that it is a work of fiction. If the SLB film on the subject projects glaring historical inaccuracies so does this book. It is fantasy written by piecing together some facts with the writer's own impassioned imagination. To date there is no credible record on the personal lives and interaction between Bajirao, Kashibai and Mastani, so the premise of both the film and this book is flawed.

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