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Cuckold Paperback – 30 May 2003
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About the Author
Kiran Nagarkar is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Ravan and Eddie, Cuckold (for which he won the Sahitya Akademi Award) and God's Little Soldier. His first book, Saat Sakkam Trechalis, written in Marathi and translated into English as Seven Sixes Are Forty-three, is considered a landmark in post-independence Indian literature. Nagarkar has also written several plays and screenplays, both in Marathi and English.
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It is. No doubt about that.
The book is named after Bhoj Raj, the husband of Bhakti saint Meerabai. Kiran names him Maharaj Kumar and through his life, recounts the history of Mewar providing readers a fascinating insight into the minds and lives of the people who lived then. A fictionalized commentary on the politics, palace intrigues, society, religion, warfare and interpersonal relations of the times, it recreates the times of the 16th century splendidly.
At first I couldn’t understand why somebody would choose to make the protagonist a weak and insipid character. Gradually however, the writer develops the positive and humane personality traits layer by layer. Genuine people had a tough time even then, when sycophancy, hypocrisy and aggressiveness were the traits that took you ahead of others. Maharaj Kumar is a genuine person, and suffers precisely because of this!
Interesting comparisons between all the Hindu Gods and Lord Krishna, Jain temples and Hindu temples; especially humorous was how Christ the Lord would have appeared to Rajput rulers when presented with His image by Christian missionaries.
Am not a practicing Jain but somehow felt proud of my Jain lineage after reading the book. Primarily moneylenders, the Jain community was a powerful one even when Rajputs and Mughals were ruling the roost in India.
The ruling classes have been using religion to further their interests since times immemorial. More importantly, how the masses are swayed by the herd mentality, how ready they are to believe state propaganda, how tables are turned and fortunes ride on a roller coaster depending on how good your PR skills are! It is as true today as it was then.
Doing good is one thing. Presenting it in the right way at the right time to the right audience is another. Even your biggest achievements could be twisted and projected in such a way to the public that they start baying for your blood.
A man can be in love with more than one. All are his true loves. He needs them all in different ways.
Lust, obsession, loyalty, denial, self-effacement, possessiveness are all different forms of love.
Self-doubt and self-righteousness assail everyone at different points in their lives.
Our fears are our biggest enemies.
I loved reading Cuckold.
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