Thursday, March 22, 2012

Scandal Point-II

Just finished reading the novel “Scandal Point” by Ms. Manju Jaidka the other day.. It is a story steeped in history, romance, palace intrigues and the tragedy of the members of Patiala regency of the times , forced by circumstances or rather the turn of events to live separately . The Chhoti Maharani Betty alias Harnam kaur made to pass for Florence for political reasons, Prince RRR living as Kartar for safety reasons. . The secular credentials of the Patiala Royalty are brought forth nicely , when the Prince is named Sri Richard Ram Rahim Singh , symbolizing a mixture and coexistence of four major religious faiths. Being a Shimlaite, I could easily relate to the places like Viceregal Lodge, Gaiety Theatre , the Christ Church and the Ridge as also the Chail Palace . I could draw many parallels –though unintended by the writer- like the steed named as Sultan that reminds of Baba Bharti’s horse of the same name. in the Hindi story Haar ki Jeet , the elopement saga related in engrossing twenty odd pages reminds of the story of the Rajput king , Prithviraj Chauhan and Samyukta as also Rani Roopmati- Baaz Bahadur saga. Even the name RRR reminds of Shaheed Udham Singh’s adopted name, Ram Muhammad Singh Azad. The protagonist, prince RRR emerges as a tragic figure, the entire course of whose life is decided by others. All the characters like Rajen, Rajmata, Jasbir, Harbir, Betty , Attar Singh, Raja Jagatjit Singh are realistically drawn which apparently is the result of extensive research undertaken by the author. The Prologue and the Coda are immensely readable and thought provoking . There is no scandal involved in the elopement, however the Prince is made to carry the burden .

The flawless language, style are certainly the hall mark of the novel.

Hats off to the writer !


  1. Thanks, Aarkay. I am humbled by your words of appreciation and have shared your response on the Scandal Point Facebook.
    On 24th April I have a discussion of the book in Habitat, Delhi. In May or June there will be a reading session in Shimla. I will keep you posted. thanks once again.

  2. ....this was my first instant response , though you deserved much more than I was able to express. Thanks for your quick response also and please accept my best wishes !

    1. This was a very beautifully written review. I enjoyed reading it just as much as I enjoyed reading the novel "Scandal Point". Although I am not from Himachal, Ambala is not very far from Simla and I loved my trips there during the summer holidays. The lovely walks on the two Malls. What fun we had. I dont think I will ever be able to repeat those experiences again. All the Best to Manju my darling sister.Thanks Aarkay for your appreciation.

  3. Thanks, Chitra ji!. You may not be from Himachal, but a fellow Indian nevertheless aren't you ! It is nice to hear you nostalgically talking about Shimla. Unfortunately Shimla has lost that old world charm and has already become a concrete jungle ! Mercifully, air is still clean and sky clear . As for the novel, Manju ji has not only treated her subject with rare compassion but also dedicated it to him and his future generations and that speaks volumes .
    Thanks again !

  4. WOW the author herself responded to you. that's great

  5. Really great of her. Isn't it !