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April 24, 2020

My Rating - 4 out of 5 stars
Publisher - Maple Press
Genre - Classic/Short Story
Publishing year - 1907
Language - English 
ISBN - 978-93-80816-33-3
Pages - 145

My Review - 

Roothi Rani - It is a historical tale of Queen Umadevi, daughter of Rawal Lonkaran of Jaisalmer. She was married to King Maldev, ruler of Marwar. Umadevi's father wanted to kill Maldev on the day of the wedding, but his plans backfired. Umadevi was one of the most beautiful ladies whose pride ruined her marital relationship. King Maldev's intoxication and engagement with the maidservant add fuel to the fire. 

Umadevi was known as the displeased queen (Roothi Rani). She respects his husband but never lets her guard nor pride underneath. The other queens took advantage of it, create more misunderstandings between the king and Umadevi. 

History has significant tales to tell; it is one of them. What I love most about this story are the details that make it enjoyable and engaging. The legend has self-esteem, power concupiscence, resentment, treachery, insulation, specifying some of the notable warriors of all time, and most importantly, a lady like Umadevi who was stubborn; and never altered her beliefs for anyone. 

Prema - It is a fictional story of two lovers. Amritrai and Prema love each other and dream of getting married one day. Amritrai is a wealthy and famous lawyer, but he also believes in western culture; wants changes in society. Prema's father was not acknowledged, and he did everything in his capability to restrain Amritrai. In the societal pressure and orthodox thinking of Prema's father, they separated and married a different person. Things took a drastic turn when Amritrai supported widow re-marriage. It was also the turning point of the story that portrays helplessness and injustice towards women. 

Munshi Premchand's works revolve around social and political problems. He was also a social reformer, and his thinking came to words in the form of stories that connected readers and seemed realistic. I read a few of his tales in school, and after all these years, when I picked this book, it gave me more clarity of that time. He didn't portray women as weak; instead, he focused on her hopes and urges. He is an acclaimed author, and his work is studied abroad, but I felt that Indian readers are not given much time to Hindi literature, which is unfortunate. So, I request you to read this book even once but do read it. 

PS - The publisher compiled two different stories in one. Roothi Rani is 54 pages long, and Prema is 85 pages. It is translated into the English language but has some spelling and grammatical mistakes. 

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