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Friday, April 18, 2014

Book Review: Daniel's Diary

Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Vitasta Publishing Pvt.Ltd (1 February 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-9382711216

The Blurb:

 When Mrinalini, an art restoration expert, ventures into the ruins of Rang-Mahal and the Palace of Sumangarh, an accidental discovery of a skeleton and a manuscript detailing the exploits of Daniel, a Portuguese artist, opens a window to the forgotten era of grace and grandeur. The blossoming of love between a Moghul Emperor and a Rajput princess, is seen through the eyes of a foreign traveller, who himself falls in love with Jodhabai.

 The plot revolves around Daniel’s quest for beauty and passion, the ecstasy and agony of love. He marries the famous courtesan Mahamaya only to lose her. It also draws a modern day parallel in the life of Mrinalini, a woman who seeks refuge in artistic pursuits and architectural ruins when relationships in life confuse her.

 Will she and Surajsinh be able to decode the clues left behind by Daniel? Will the curse of centuries-old unfulfilled love break into a happy ending for Mrinalini?

About the book:

Seldom has a book given you the much needed respite midst the daily humdrum. Flipping through the pages of a new born book is a luxury when you are close to a construction site! Nevertheless- Rajeshwari Chauhan had effectively pulled me into the exotic trill world of Mrinalini in no time!
The credibility of an author lies in her story telling manner- (I keep repeating myself). The destiny of any book rests in the very hands of its creator. Once I heard a Portuguese traveler muse on his know- to a captivated Goan maid-“Telling a story is akin to weaving that saree of yours. The more perfect the weaving gets the more amorous your story= saree will look”!
Juggling with history is a challenging trick. You are sometimes forced to tell all events in a handful of pages making it rush altogether in front of the reader’s inner eye. Keeping aside this slight glitch- I must say I openly appreciate the portraiture of Mirnalini.  Much has been told about Akbar and Jodha in recent times- and I don’t wish dwell over such boring repetitions. Instead- I must speak of Daniel and Surajsinh.
Daniel is perhaps a man born out to imagination living in Akbar’s time- secretly falling over Jodha Bai only to marry Mahamaya. Daniel’s entry throws some speculative light over the Mughal Era- but its well thought of parallelization of characters from present and past plot line that is worth praise.
Surajsinh seems like born out of his time- he has all the qualities to be called a warrior prince- but Present politics is no place for such fantastic personalities. He is an film enthusiast coming to the palace of Sumangarh to shot a documentary- but his real purposes are way to deep…Without giving away much of the story- I did enjoy the slow and wavy love tale emerging between Mrinalini and Surajsinh- the climax does cement their affair dexterously.
Still some polish might have made “Daniel’s Diary” an unbeaten best seller- but as I said- juggling history and sticking a fresh story around it takes huge risks.

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