Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Book Review: The Legend of Amrapali

Author: Anurag Anand


Language: English

Pages: 214

Price: 200

Publishers: Srishti Publishers

ISBN Number: 9380349473

About the Book:

“So what are you reading now?” a voice enquired from behind. I mumbled for the ‘n’th time- and got showered with more. Now three different voices shooting questions at me. “What Amrapali- you mean the dancer?”- “No, she was the courtesan, right?” “What Amrapali- you are reading about Vyjayanthimala Bali , are you?” read it somewhere that people had forgotten about Amrapali- now my relatives prove it, that we have n’t.  With a kid peeping over the cover- and spelling the Title out letter by letter, with a male voice in the room rolling the words in his tongue, “The girl who are born in mango grove” and with my memories dragging me back to my childhood days, with the pages of Amar Chitra Katha’s edition  of “Buddha” Amrapali bowing in front of Sakya Muni and offering him food- the protagonist became a familiar figure, much before I had started reading. 

I will not delve into history, you got the famous Mr. Google and Mr. Wikipedia to help you out and of course Aurag Anand’s “The Legend of Amrapali” is an assured pleasant reading. The book speaks of power and examines the growth of a simple yet most exquisitely beautiful girl from innocent belle to a nagarvadhu of  Vaishali, who could exercise more power than even the lecherous king.
If you have watched movies like “Umrao jaan” (no matter-whichever version you pick) or “Destiny Of Her Own” (a movie about  Veronica Franco ) you would understand how power yields in the hands of the mute victim when the struggle to survive turns too tough to endure- but for the groans through the pursed lips and the supposed benign smile. In the deft hands of Anurag Anand- Amrapali displays the art of dancing for the eyes and tempting the mindless men folk to murder one another, to squander their money and ignore their responsibilities, just for a glimpse of her. With her beloved arrowed down, just hours before her marriage, she forgoes her tears- and makes the most of the situations she is pushed into. What she fails to speak about, her dancing steps convey. What impressed me was the art of skating away from the obvious, employed by the writer. A story as such could have spoken about a life wasted in pleasures, page by page- a desperate writer could have done that and to get his books sold in millions. But, the legendary Amrapali was honoured to be considered nothing beyond a woman in plight- planning her life with a high head and avenging her enemies- with no second glance caste upon the bygone. Only an experienced pen could have done that- keep it scribbling across your desk, Mr. Writer.

About the Author:


Anurag Anand is a Mumbai based banking professional cum author. He started his tryst with writing at the early age of 24 when he penned his first self-help book – Pillars of Success, which was followed by another title in the same genre (Corporate Mantras).

His first fiction title was, Tic Toc – A tale of love, hate and terror, which was released in 2008, close on the heels of the 27/11 carnage in Mumbai. The Quest for Nothing and Reality Bites, Anurag’s next two fiction titles, made it to the National Bestseller list within months of their release and The Quest for Nothing was also nominated for the Vodafone Crossword Book Awards, 2011. The Legend of Amrapali is his sixth title overall and fourth work of fiction.

Further Information:


No comments: