SHE- The Forgotten Epoch: Tasting Life Twice in Retrospect

Familiarity with history often helps us comprehend and connect with the inner lives of people across time and place. Illuminating the untold stories and letting the readers experience the complexities of truths through the power of connecting the past with the present, historical stories lead the readers inside the minds of the people who helped shape the world we dwell in today.

If you are in the mood to explore one such intriguing historical novel, Dr. Santosh Singh’s ‘SHE- The Forgotten Epoch’ published by Leadstart is a perfect pick. ‘An emotional roller-coaster ride set against the backdrop of the seldom mentioned 11th century India’, the book depicts the life of gentle and charming Udaymati, the elegant queen of Anuhilwara, and her life’s encounters.

Proud of her family and country, Udaymati was prudent in her thoughts and life’s decisions, and she yearned to lead a gentle life that often eluded her. Caught in the vortex of turbulent life, she was betrayed by her own husband, which creates a turning point in her life.

When her country was plunged into the dangers and miseries imposed by a ruthless invader, she rises above her personal conflicts to choose the safety of the people. Teaming up with her adversaries, she sets out to protect the royal treasure and the cache of the Somnath.

A strong believer in the fact that every defeat can be transformed into victory and every lost war paves way for a resurgence in the future, Udaymati displayed great resolute in protecting her country.

But would this tenacity also help her resolve personal battles? The story distinctly presents a timeline when the overall attitude towards life, societal aspects, religion, and politics was evidently different than the present times, and yet they appear to be relevant in many ways even today. The times have changed drastically but the social dogmas are still hampering the complete development of mindset in general.

Contrary to the patriarchal narratives from history, women have always been instrumental in the revolutionary uprising of society and nations. Queen Udaymati is one such brave lady who is driven by courage to take charge and lead the countrymen.

Despite the adversities ahead, she had perseverance and a never give up attitude that shined through the obstacles and created an example for many.

The unsung story of bravery and journey of a woman who was independent, opinionated, intellectual, strategist, self-assured, kind-hearted, and a great architect, ‘SHE- The Forgotten Epoch’ presents a perfect plot that inspires.

Remembered for constructing ‘Rani Ki Vav’, a UNESCO heritage today and a symbol of profound love, there are little known facts from the life of Rani Udaymati that have been warranted by author Dr. Santosh Singh perfectly by unraveling the emotions and events that shaped her life.

Stories like these whose references have merely been reduced to footnotes in the pages of history, need to be brought to the front, revisited, and retold to symbolize the dauntless gallantry and contributions of women in Indian history. Sprinkled with the elements of historical fiction and depicting the cultural inclination of India in those times, the tale of a fiercely determined woman is richly narrated in the book.

The portrayal of the past that compels us to reflect on the present and the incidents that build the character of the protagonist are well penned by the author in lucid narrative and sufficient scope to let the plot develop.

An impactful blurb encapsulated in an aptly designed cover, the book calls out to be read and remembered. A well-placed plot and unhurried pace of the story make the reading experience absorbing.

The author is a master at illustrating the mind of a historical figure in the form of queen Udaymati as she successfully presents the protagonist’s perspective inside out. As the queen paces through the changing events of life fulfilling her ambitions alternating with impending tragedies, she leaves a mark on the male-dominated world through her means, ability, and personality.

A courageous woman, loyal wife, ambitious queen, and a protector of people, she lives a fulfilling life despite the conflicting scenarios thrown at her by fate.

As much the inner world, intense emotions, and long-suffering destiny of the queen are beautifully laid out through the story, the author has also captured the values, principles, political setup, and religious aspects of the eleventh century remarkably.

The accurate depiction of the mindset of the people in general and towards women at different strata during that timeline stands out as a highlight of the book. An unrestrained and dramatic episode from the Indian history that has been ripe for literary exploration is interestingly presented by Dr. Santosh Singh in her brilliant work, ‘SHE- The Forgotten Epoch’.

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