Free Press Journal

Bringing history to life: Review


Book: Yoddha: The Dynasty Of Samudragupta

Author: Rajat Pillai

Publisher: Jaico Publishing House

Pages: 336; Price: Rs 350

Love it or hate it, but it is history that decides how our future is going to shape up. The past is history to us while we are a history to the future. And hence to delve a little deeper into that arena Rajat Pillai’s Yoddha is your perfect weekend read.

Developing historical interest is an art in itself and when it comes to kings, kingdoms and wars, one needs to be precise about the information to be shared with the world. Diving into history explores novel avenues of stories untold and told to human race. It is a thorough belief that history and its events are what that have shaped the mankind giving us a world we live in.

The Gupta dynasty has been one of the most magnanimous dynasties who made their mark on the Indian soil ages ago. However, stories of their prowess and how it shaped the world still gives a true bibliophile, sheer goosebumps. The story opens up to the life and times of Samudragupta an accomplished warrior who is on not so good terms with his extended family. What makes the situation a bit more worse is that they want him dead. The intriguing opening of the books holds a good grip on the reader.

Conversation between the characters not just keeps the story crisp, but also helps in building up the character and its virtues. History is a delicate subject and hence, it is important to understand that whatever sells in the name of history should not be blindly followed. The author here maintains the purity of the subject and does not overdo with excess sugar coated information. Each character enters and exits in perfect synchronisation without lingering around.

The way the protagonist deals with the situations and takes every measure to ensure the safety of the children. The political unrest and the greed for power is crisply and cleverly depicted by the author in his writing. Thanks to historical literature and academic knowledge we are quite well-versed with the life and times of Chandragupta. However, this books take you through a much deeper journey of this ruler and the story of his valour in saving the kingdom.

What makes this book standout from others is that we get a peek into the lives of not just Samudragupta, but also Chandragupta Vikramaditya. Historical stories and characters are a delicate subject and hence need to be researched to the core. Each emotion walks through the maze of lies, deceit, jealousy. The language used is easy to understand making this read everyone’s cup of tea.

The course of the story is circumscribed and does not beat around the bush. The entwining of different stories does not stray the context of the novel. Overall, this book brings about a refreshing change from the otherwise regular genre books. If history ignites fire in your mind and you are stung by the curiosity bug then this book is a must read for you.