Author Pravin Anand’s book, his third one, Mumtaz and Taj Mahal is a title that’s self-explanatory and we can expect bits of history or a complete historical package. However, perhaps the author knew how to keep his readers guessing and in between, how to deliver a stunning novel with historical facts to a certain extent and degree that it does not become colourless. This skill of Pravin Anand, I will have to mention and admire because his writing proved me wrong with my guessing. Nonetheless, there are some low-points about his writing that I will be mentioning here as well. So, let’s get into the novel – Mumtaz and Taj Mahal.
The story itself is the very high point of this novel. What else can be better than writing about the lady and her love who are associated with the monument of love called Taj Mahal? Pravin’s work becomes just another testimony to the love story of Mumtaz and Shahjahan. However, he has begun his story in a rather different way and a little dose of history is there. He played it cleverly and did not push the readers into a kind of nonfictional handling of history. He has painted the facts with a bit of fancy here and that makes the story curious, compulsive and also further interesting.
Keeping the levels of readership in his mind, he has also played safe in terms of language and his narrative. He could have built it up to a level that would complement the historical fiction – a rather sophisticated language and a better narrative (what does better mean? just complicating the readers’ mind with the use of volcanic words?) that would suffice the ego of reading historical fiction. Well, he rather went for a simple tone and a straightforward narrative with a motto of tell-the-tale. And this is what makes the novel a better read and a better accessible and comprehensive piece of fiction which invites the readers from different age groups and different levels of readership alike.
Pravin Anand’s third novel, Mumtaz and Taj Mahal, takes a shift from his general writing approach – romance and love. His previous two novels, Mars, Love and Break Up and I Love You More Than Anyone Else can be understood to be romantic fiction soothing the interests of youths. However, his latest novel is something that is written with a high expectation among the readers and the ones who are accustomed to reading novels with standard higher than usual might get disappointed. This has to do with the plot of the novel which goes almost hand-in-hand with what the intellectual readers already know. Pravin could have further dramatised the love story when he had done at times. Giving history a better rob to cover its mundane would have been better and it could come up in the form of embellished language and a layered narrative.
So, is Mumtaz and Taj Mahal worth reading? I will say yes! You can read this novel if your intention is to entertain yourself with a fiction. However, if you are expecting this novel to deliver you a higher form of aesthetics just because it deals with a historical landmark, you might find yourself disappointed.
review by Rupesh for The Book Blog
Mumtaz and Taj Mahal
A very ideal one-time read for the casual readers of fiction whose only motive is to entertain themselves with the writing they read.