Mumtaz and Tajmahal by Pravin Anand is a historical fiction which has been prepared for those who do know the history but might not know the wide horizons of love between Mumtaz and Shahjahan as well as many other things which went behind the scenes. Can a tale of love be told, an actual tale, by means of plot, characters and a subtle narrative? Well, Pravin Anand, a serving BDO (UP Govt.), has made it possible. An author, who writes in Hindi and English, has made the story of love and a monument wide and prolonged it with his research and capacity of storytelling. I have finished reading Mumtaz and Tajmahal yesterday and today I am sharing this review with all of you.
Pravin Anand, the author, has divided this work into three different parts. In each of the parts, the author discusses different things related to the queen and the Mughal king. Part one discusses the period before the marriage between Shahjahan and Mumtaz. Part two discusses the important events after marriage and the ultimate part discusses their lives and also their death in the last phase of their respective lives.
In the very preface of the book, Pravin accepts that writing about historical facts becomes difficult for an author because there is only the option to expand it with the help of creativity – one cannot change or alter the historical facts a lot. And that’s why writing becomes a challenge when the subject matter is as historic as this – the Tajmahal itself. Pravin has tried to fill the void with the help of his language, his witty sequence of events and also the emotional touch that he has given to this plain tale of love which we all know. Even the students of history will certainly be interested in reading this book because it offers the age-old story in an innovative way!
Critical Review & Verdict:
As a reviewer for Indian Book Critics, I do have the responsibility to offer my opinions on this book, Mumtaz and Tajmahal, responsibly and I will try to make sure it remains so. I won’t say that this book is extensively compelling or a page-turner, but yes, within its limitations, Pravin’s writing has certainly kept me impressed enough that I could go through the entire book – all the 275 pages. The addition of sentimental episodes and emotional interactions between Mumtaz and Shahjahan give the book a fictional outlook which makes it different from the plain, bold and straightforward historical tale of the Taj. The language is not that elevated and evolved but standard and casual enough – feels like you are reading a story or, in fact, listening to it.
Overall, the book is quite interesting for the first time readers… and that’s all for now! I will be back with another review soon. You can get a copy of this book by Pravin Anand by visiting the Amazon link below:
review by Sushil for Indian Book Critics
Mumtaz and Tajmahal
Mumtaz and Tajmahal is historical fiction and one can certainly find more than mere history in this book by Pravin Anand… a good one for casual reading and a book which offers an easy but versatile read.