When his Queen
Arjumand Banu - Mumtaz-i-Mahal, the Chosen One of the Palace -
died, Shah Jahan wanted to build a monument that was the image
of his perfect love for her. For twenty two years, twenty thousand
men laboured day and night to fulfil the emperor's obsession.
The result was the Taj Mahal, a marble mausoleum lined with god,
silver and precious jewels.
This powerful novel narrated the story of the Taj Mahal on two
parallel levels. The first one tells the passionate love story
of Shah Jahan and Arjumand till her death through the voices of
three main characters - Arjumand, Shah Jahan and Isa, Arjumand's
favoured eunuch. The second recounts the later years of Shah Jahan's
reign, the building of the Taj Mahal and the bloody pursuit of
the fabulous peacock throne by his sons. Intertwined with the
narrative about the building of the Taj Mahal is the story of
Murthi, the Hindu master craftsman sent as a gift to the emperor
to carve the famous marble jali around Arjumand's sarcophagus.
In this complex and fascinating book, Murari has written much
more than a historical romance. He has skilfully recreated the
period against which the story is set: the sensual opulence of
the palace and the grinding poverty of seventeenth century India,
the vicissitudes of Shah Jahan's reign and the often bitter conflict
between men of different faiths.
UK- NEL; France,-Presse
de la Citie, Philp Piquer (2008); Germany- Diana Verlag,
Knaur Tschen (2007);
Finland - Gummerus;Sweden - Bra Books; Czech - Prelozila
Lucie; Italy - Spurling
and Kupfer; Netherlands - A.W Bruno & Zoon; Denmark -
Lademann; Russia - Ripol
Classic; Indonesia - Mizan; India - Penguin, Aleph (2013).