The Peshwa : The Lion and the Stallion — Book Review

From the time I watched the movie Bajirao Mastani, I have become a fan of the story. I know, it was a huge injustice to Bajirao’s first wife Kashibai, she had to suffer for no fault of hers — a woman’s husband all of a sudden brings another woman is a brutal assault to her dignity, her self-respect, but the film left me intrigued. A bibliophile as I am , I wanted to read up on this story. I looked up on the internet about the love saga, that’s when I came across this book called “The Peshwa: The Lion and the Stallion” on Amazon.in. The reviews were good enough. I thought lets read about the person and then delve into his love story.

This story deals with the Peshwa’s life before Mastani’s entry–his teenage years training with his father, the previous Peshwa (or Prime Minister), who taught him about battle at the battlefield itself, his friendship and romance with his childhood companion Kashibai (who was the daughter of the Chief Justice of the Maratha empire) and their marriage, Bajirao’s father’s death, the dirty politics with the succession of Peshwa-ship, the King or Chhatrapati’s fulfilment of his promise to his dear friend Bajirao’s father which lead to Bajirao being the next Peshwa and then how Bajirao went on to reign his kingdom and the great war with the Mughals.

It’s a very interesting read, once I started reading it, I couldn’t stop. It’s not too slow-paced like some of the classics nor is it too fast-paced like many of the thrillers. Though its history I wasn’t boring. It’s a story not just some facts with dates and names that we have in our painfully boring history textbooks.

Bajirao has a very close knit relationship with his father, as we see in the book that his mother is no more (in the film it’s the opposite). He accompanied his father to his court, to the battlefield. That’s why inspite of being very young compared to the contenders for the position of the Peshwa, because he had first hand experience from his teenage years.

Also, he loved Kashibai dearly. They had amazing friendship and love between them. When Bajirao was setting forth for his first great war, Kashibai made him promise that he wouldn’t fight, only supervise. He tried his very best not to break his promise until he had no choice but to break it, but he did carry great remorse in him till Kashi forgave him. I don’t understand why did he get attracted to Mastani. How can one fall in love with two people at a time?

I had a good time with this book. I recommend this book to those who want to know about Bajirao.

My rating: 4/5

P.S. I did imagine Ranveer Singh and Priyanka Chopra as Bajirao and Kashibai *shyly smiles*

P.P.S: I got so excited that I went and bought the books “Mastani” and “Rau“. I’m yet to read them.

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