My Take on “The Peshwa”
I was searching for books written by Stephen King. I did not read any of his works and wanted to read a book of his. All of his books are costly and I was looking if any of his books were available on Kindle Unlimited. Now, Amazon has this amazing quality of coming up with suggestions based on the past browsing history and many a times they are absolutely unrelated to the object you wish to find. That’s how I stumbled on the book “The Peshwa”. True, I stumbled on this book in a totally unrelated and unintended way. Now, given the madness I have for history and the admiration I have for the prowess of Peshwas I could not resist picking the book up. The book being a free read on Kindle Unlimited too helped in way :-). I picked this book and Stephen King had to wait till “Shrimanth” got his due from me.
This book starts with Peshwa Balaji Vishwanath and his campaign to Delhi seeking the release of the Rajamatha or the Queen Mother of the Maratha Confederacy. The way the campaign begins, the prowess of Balaji Vishwanath Bhat, the way he takes the Mughals by surprise and the lessons he imparts to his son Baji Rao I form the first part of the story. Baji Rao’s marriage and his ascendancy to the post of Peshwa are narrated very well in the middle chapters, the Mughal vengeance, and the way the Maratha Confederacy and the Mughal Empire lock horns with each other form the rest.
While it does seem that I am revealing the plot of the book, I am not revealing much of it actually, the lessons Balaji Viswanath gives to his son are a must read, the man Baji Rao grows into is again a must read, the conversations between Baji Rao and his father and between Baji Rao and his friends are awesome. Then the way the love blossoms between Kashibai and Baji Rao is also something that must be read. The author speaks a lot in very few words when it comes to the love episode between Baji Rao and Kashibai. Baji Rao’s presence of mind on the battlefield and while running the affairs of the nation is again described interestingly and is a must read. The way the final showdown was depicted in the book too is epic.
I loved the fact that the author devotes a good amount of time and space in the book to the antagonist as well. He gives us a peek into the man, his loyalties, his desires, his
strengths, weaknesses, and philosophies. To me, that was indeed a captivating piece of work. Normally we see the protagonists walking away with all the space and glory. Seeing the antagonist also share good amount of time and space made the fight between both of them a match to watch.
The author used simple English so that the readers can make the connect easily, he ornated the pages with nice words and that was the icing on the cake. Then the pace at which the story was narrated was also good and the book has in it to have the reader glued to it. I liked all these things in the book.
The author took his liberties with the historical incidents and played around with them. For example, Syed brothers did not die while Farrukshiyar was still alive, same is the case with Dabhade, there was bloodshed when the Maratha Senapati was killed, and Dabhade met his end in Gujarat and not in Pune. I felt that this should have been avoided by the author.
The epilogue of the book suggests that there might be a sequel to this. if there is a sequel to this book, I for sure am going to buy it. Do pick the book, the first time author has done a fantastic job of bringing the history alive in front of our eyes. Happy reading.