About the Book
Dilli, 1857. The Mughal Empire is grearing up to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of its victory over the British. The Empire is thrown into sudden chaos when the Emperor is assassinated in a bloody coup.
Three unlikely companions find themselves thrown together by fate. Ranveer, a young officer in the elite Mughal cavalry, who is now hunted by the Empire he served; Theo an English traveller with a mysterious past; and Maya, a beautiful Princess they rescue.
Together, they embark on a journey that takes them from bloody skirmishes with Afgan raiders, rescue missions in remote forts, joining a coalition of rulers who band together against the new despotic regime to protect their independence, and then back into the heart of Dilli for a dramatic final mission which will determine not just their fate, but that of all of Hindustaan.
About the Author
Mainak Dhar is a cubicle dweller by day and author by night. After graduation form the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, he has spent more than fifteen years in the corporate world. At the same time, he has been a prolific writer with ten books to his credit including the novel Line of Control, also published by Vitasta Publishing.
Every writer has two major sources of inspiration- the people and the books he surrounds himself with. For me, the people who helped make this book happen were many.
My wife, Puja, always for being my greatest inspiration, a rock-solid pillar of support and the best muse a writer could ever want. My son, Aadi, whose requests for repeated readings of his Pooh and Mickey storybooks will one day be repaid when he has to listen to iterations of my plots and jottings. My father, Maloy, his second innings as a bestselling writer after retirement is an inspiration of how to keep one's passion for writing alive; My friend Rahul, whose shared love for history and historical novels sparked the whole idea of Hindustaan and finally my mother, Sunanda. Ma, I know you're up there smiling as you see this book join the others on my shelf-I'm keeping the promise I made-a book per year.
My book, Hindustan, would not have been written, but for four authors-Abraham Eraly and William Darlymple, whose books breathe life into Mughal India as never before; Harry Turtledove, who introduced me to the fascinating world of asking a simple 'what if' and then creating a whole retelling of history around it; and finally Conn Iggulden, whose books got me really passionate about the possibilities of historical fiction.
A note to readers-you will encounter several terms, ranks and units of measurement that were current during the Mughal era. I desisted from just putting in their modern English translation or equivalent in the spirit of keeping the authenticity of the story alive. Most of these will be self-explanatory in the context of the story, especially to Indian readers, but in case of any doubt, just turn to the Glossary at the end of this novel. While many of the characters are real and borrowed from the real history we know, actions and words attributed to them are purely a figment of my imagination.
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