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Book review - Vandhargal, Vendrargal

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by tuffyshri, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. tuffyshri

    tuffyshri Gold IL'ite

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    I love reading lot and lot of books. Prefer fiction stories than the non fiction ones. Management, Personality developments are still my choices yet would take a second place when you show me Jeffrey Archer on top :)

    Here is a quick cap about the book which I read recently.

    This was given to me by my brother-in-law, after so much hestiation. In fact the truth is that I kind of kidnapped the book when he was not home. I am sure he didnt notice it until I returned it promptly within 2 weeks. He is treasuring it very much for so many years. It is a Tamil book. And it is the famous “vandhaargaL, VendraargaL” (வந்தார்கள் வென்றார்கள்) roughly translated to ‘They came, they conquered’ by the famous cartoonist Madhan. I dont have the book now, yet wanted to pour my thoughts on that. So obviously I dont have the dates and other details handy, kindly excuse.

    This was actually a serial published in the Junior Vikatan years back (sigh I already forgot the dates!). Then looking at the readers response the author compiled it as a book. The preface has been provided by writer Late Sujatha, who Madhan worships forever. (I like to read a book from the very first page, go with the ‘thanks to’ and then preface if any. Of all such prefaces, I liked the one from Chetan Baghat for the book ‘One night at the call center’. The preface in itself was presented as a short story. Will write about that book later on…). Sujatha’s finishing line were like this - ‘if this was my history book in my school, I would have cleared my History exam with good marks’ :). (Genius is he, I say!)

    The book takes us to a flashback mode where we read through India, no no especially Delhi’s fate so long. It starts with Timur making his battle against the existing king in Delhi. Then it swooshes into a flash back covering the history ever since Mohammad Bin Qasim. It details about various kings and only one queen until the last Mughal prince Bahadur Shah II. Very interesting and you cannot keep the book down for a minute. Madhan has done a fair job by standing outside as a viewer and then composing the book. He has analyzed the goods and blunders done by each of the main kings in the throne. He has not biased his opinions, especially being an Hindu talking about a kingdom of Muslims. The added condiments in the books are the imaginary dialogues that might have taken place between people. Interesting indeed!

    Few tit-bits from the book
    1) Generally people outside India were worried about the Indus river (Sindhu river by then). But Timur, just ordered for n number of boats, lined them in the river, walked over and crossed the river!

    2) Again usually the people beyond India were worried to battle against, just because we guyz had the powerful elephant armor with us. But Timur was very smart in making disguising holes filled with powerful weapons. He then caught the camels, loaded their backs with wood and hay, fired them. Elephants got panicked looking at the fire. Fantastic strategy, I would say!

    3) We often quote Mohammad Ghazini as an example for hard work and multiple trials in spite of failures. He had invaded northern India for 15 times. It is not true that he failed in all his attempts. But the truth is that he looted LOT of gold from the Somnath Temple the very first time itself. He then got addicted to it and kept coming back for multiple times. Each time was a damn success!

    4) The only woman princess to make history in the Afghan empire was Rasiya (dont remember the full name)

    5) The highest rate of punishment next to death was to dig the eyes by passing hot iron rods until the eye balls fall out. (OMG!) Even small children had to undergo this, if the king felt him to be a threat some day

    6) Babur was interested to observe animals, their habitats and way of life. (Early zoologist??)

    7) While Akbar was the only one who did not show rationalism against Hindus, all the other kings were doing it. They demolished lot of Hindu temples, looted away the treasure. Yet they never refused to marry Hindu brides. These kind of rationalism itself became a reason for people to hate Mughal empire.

    8.) It is very known that Shahjahan wanted to build another Taj Mahal, in Black Marble. The author has added a punch by quoting ‘thank God, his son Aurangazeb did not agree to it. By doing so, he retained the pride that there is only one Taj Mahal’

    9) Humayun died by mere tripping down from staircase.

    10) The last empire Bahadur Shah II was the only one to have been photographed. While all the others were shown in paintings only.

    Lot more to write, but let me stop here so that it does not dilute the interest of the readers. [​IMG]

    For sure I was browsing net, and books in library interested to learn more and more info. about Mughals, esp. Akbar, Babur, Humayun and Aurangazeb. Well, that is the success of the writer, right?
     
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  2. rgsrinivasan

    rgsrinivasan IL Hall of Fame

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    That was like a curtain raiser to the book Tuffyshri. Remembered to have read that book long ago and now, sorry to say, totally forgotten. Will search and read it again. Gee - success of your review. :) -rgs
     
  3. sreemanavaneeth

    sreemanavaneeth Gold IL'ite

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    Hai TS,

    Thanks a lot for the information. I am able to remember the mughal emperor name
    and can recollect only to certain extent. Anyway felt that i was in the history class.
    It is really very interesting to learn about mughal emperor. Waiting for the next one from you. I liked your narration my dear IL
     
  4. nihasvin

    nihasvin Platinum IL'ite

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    Hey sri,Thanks for the review!!
    I m hearing some facts (like death of humayun) for the first time..I do remember couple of facts from school history :)
    The first female ruler is Raziya Sultana!
    Death sentence(with out torture)seems to be peaceful than other cruel ones..
     
  5. shakambari

    shakambari Platinum IL'ite

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    Hey Tuffysri,
    Nice review...
    I have read this book long back and it was thoroughly gripping(not like school history books)
    That's the reason for its success!
     
  6. tuffyshri

    tuffyshri Gold IL'ite

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    Thank you RGS. am honoured! :)
     
  7. tuffyshri

    tuffyshri Gold IL'ite

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    thank you ma. yes, i have plans to post more reviews on the books that read. let me see...
     
  8. tuffyshri

    tuffyshri Gold IL'ite

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    thanks niha for the comment. yes, it was Raziya Sultana - a draw back in tamil that you can never differentiate between the syllables. :)
    death sentence is peaceful but imagine the panic of those whose heads were chopped off; or being kicked off by an elephant!! oooo!
     
  9. tuffyshri

    tuffyshri Gold IL'ite

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    yep! totally agreed.. this is the same statement that Sujatha has commented. thanks for dropping by
     
  10. shashiv

    shashiv Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Tuffy,

    What a history? Good piece of information... Liked the way you have narrated...


    Shanti
     

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