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Book: A Historical Epic… Had Me Hooked!

This book had me glued to every word, till the very last page. Locked down and wondering how to spend my time effectively, I decided to get back to my reading days!

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An extremely powerful story of how a farmer’s son came to be the Maharaja of Baroda, this book had me glued to every word, till the very last page. Locked down and wondering how to spend my time effectively, I decided to get back to my reading days! Being a numismatist, history has always been my second love.  While perusing through my kindle, Uma Balasubramaniam’s Sayajirao Gaekwad III: The Maharaja of Baroda by Rupa publishers caught my eye!

I wasn’t sure what to expect until I started reading and boy… was I hooked! I know history and hooked may not go hand in hand for most… give this book a read and you’ll know what I mean!

It is an in-depth biography, capturing the life of a great ruler, whose legacy does not lie just in great institutions but in the scale, nature, and foresight of his endeavors. However, the uniqueness of the book lies in the way it’s written, a historical epic narrative that weaves grandeur with humility to present the life of a ruler, who understood the mindsets of every single one of his subjects and worked tirelessly for their progress.

It traces the life of a 13-year old farm boy, who when asked by the Queen of Baroda, ‘Why do you think you have been brought here?’ Looking her straight in the eye, confidently answered, ‘Why? To rule Baroda of course!’ Thus, by a twist of fate, this farm boy became Sayajirao Gaekwad III, the greatest ruler Baroda had ever known. From here, it focuses on his ascendancy to the throne, his relationship with the British government in India, his remarkable administration, and his outstanding reforms. Also, it reveals interesting details of how the ruler once favored by the British Empire found himself on the brink of being deposed by the British and how he still managed to ensure that his state flourishes amidst hostile environment created by the British aristocrats!

In her seamless narrative, Mrs. Balasubramaniam creates a relatable protagonist, whose personal growth and achievements does not erase his humble background and his faults. For me, it was an eye-opener and an absolutely captivating read.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


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Gaurav Mehta

The author is Founder and CEO of Jaipur Watch Company

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