‘A Princess Remembers’ is Maharani Gayatri Devi literally reminiscing over her extraordinary life from the florescent dawn to the fall of the evening.

Gayatri Devi was born in the royal family of Cooch behar. She was brought up in magnificent palaces, among her siblings and cousins, taking inspiration from her sophisticated mother(who was a princess of Baroda), getting education from the best of the institutes around the world, travelling unceasingly only to come back to her people in Cooch Behar.

A tomboyish twelve years old ‘Ayesha’ killed a tiger on her own. Hitherto famous for her beauty, brains and splendor, soon she caught the attention of Man singh II, the emperor of Jaipur. By getting married to him she chose to become the third wife with a certain knowledge of the difficulties she may have to face. Open-minded, free willed princess was supported by her husband in every thick and thin of her life. After becoming the Maharani she intermingled with the culture and heritage of Jaipur only to increase it’s beauty more and more. The most courageous and controversial Maharani who denied Purdah and defied the orthodox ideas of the then society and marked her presence from the Polo Grounds to the Parliament of India. From winning elections to throwing the most sumptuous parties, from living in the luxury of Rambagh palace to spending months in Tihar jail, from being a tom boyish to the style icon of Forbes magazine, Ayesha gradually turned into the most celebrated Maharani of India, Gayatri Devi.

This book is a love story of an unusual kind. It’s a retelling of the historical period from the British Raj to the freedom movement to emergency period and so on. It’s the saga of an extraordinary life, ever- changing and never- ending. It’s a tale of a city blooming in bright colors in all it’s glory and sadly withering away like dry leafs from the quivering branches. It’s a realistic fairy tale that begins with- once upon a time, there was a beautiful princess and ends with the castle go astray, the crown losing it’s precious diamonds and the prince going far away to never come back. Although, Gayatri Devi and her legacy lives on through the educational institutions she set up in her life with the hope of a better India.

It is one interesting and informative book that satiates your craving for a gratifying read out and out. It immediately transports you to the beautiful palaces and castles of Jaipur, sits you to see the most picturesque sunset and makes you acknowledge it’s grandeur. There’s everything you want to know about the royalties, their architecture, their food, their fashion, their familial life, their acquaintances, their ways of life and also the drawbacks of being someone important in the social realm.

Surbhi Islam

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