Book Review: Misfortune’s Favourite: The Tragic End of Dara Shukoh
Author: Srinivas Rao Adige
Published by: Rupa Publications
The Mughal empire in then India or Hindusthan is one of history’s most talked about eras. But, among all the emperors, Akbar has gained a special place in history, and most of the monuments now that exist are from his age and later. Be it the Agra fort or the Taj Mahal; it showcases the enriched heritage of his era. People lived in harmony until Aurangazeb reigned and ruined the country.
This book talks about the Mughal prince Dara Shukoh who, in his lifetime, always strived to find common ground in different religions and the history of India. He was also as a person less cruel compared to his contemporaries and brother Aurangazeb. But he never had a chance to sit on the throne and rule the country. Even if he would, he won’t live longer!
This fast-paced historical novel, Misfortune’s Favourite: The Tragic End of Dara Shukoh by Srinivas Rao Adige tells us the story of the unlucky Mughal prince whose fortune always proved unlucky time and again. The novel starts at Agra fort, where Dara and his companions are set to flee from his rebel brothers Aurangzeb and Murad after their defeat in a battle.
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After their fleeing, Aurangzeb captured Agra fort and stopped the water supply to Agra fort. He did not leave any chance that would not torture the people. Once, emperor Shahjahan said he was more fortunate if he was a born Hindu because Hindus offered water to their ancestors even after their death.
Then the story continues with the fleeing of Dara’s troupe resting without any option. From this point, whatever he attempts goes barren and bears no fruit. He also loses grip on his troops when he gets captured by the traitors. As once the official astrologer Alima Mooltani to Dara Shukoh said a prophecy that whatever misfortunes he faces, Dara will also remain in the people’s hearts forever. His relentless efforts in creating religious harmony also will be remembered for generations.
In today’s era, the Indian government remembering its efforts, launched a mission to find Dara’s tomb and pay respects. The story is less known in the book, and Dara can be regarded as an unsung hero. The story is written in simple language and engaging narration. The story is tragic and ends on a sad note. The story has enough drama, and the book can be given a chance to read.
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