Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Old Customs Perfectly Explained (Book Review: The Bearded Prince by Rajesh Talwar)


Title: The Bearded Prince
Author: Rajesh Talwar

The Bearded Prince is the story of the beautiful and creative Princess Roopali and her swayamvara.
She is prejudiced against men with beards. 
The author has justified the prejudice, making it sound reasonable.
And then worked on breaking the prejudice with the story.

The Bearded Prince reminded me of the Vikram and Betal stories. There's the grandeur of royalty and emotions that are common to all, a dilemma and a suspense to the reason behind the reason.

Often when narrating a story to kids, one has to clarify certain instances so as to ensure that they don't get an impression of wrong-doing or prejudices from it.
The author, Rajesh Talwar does it for you and with a touch of humour too. 
"Quite often, people assume that princes and princessses are bound to be good looking people, but they are wrong in their assumption. Anyone closely connected with royalty knows that there are ugly princes, short princesses, princes who are scarred, and princesses who lisp. God and nature have not made any special provision for princes and princesses that might make them in any way more appealing or attractive as human beings than the rest of us."

'A Modern Tale Set in Ancient India' is how it is described and rightly so. It's a tale of olden times told in the language of today, explaining things in a way that the readers who don't know of the old stories would understand.
The author makes a point about equality, individuality and respect for ones' family. 

Princess Roopali is someone with whom the present day kids can relate too.
I do think that although grown-ups would enjoy this book, it the younger lot that The Bearded Prince can truly charm.

The Bearded Prince is a simple story. The simplicity itself and the little details, the thoughtful explanations are really good.


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The italicised text in quotation marks are quotes from the book.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


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Blurb

After much persuasion, Princess Roopali, ‘the beautiful one’, agrees to have a swayamvara. This is an ancient Indian ceremony in which an unmarried girl who has come of age chooses a husband from among several suitors. According to the tradition, at the end of the ceremony, the princess is required to place a marigold garland around the neck of the prince she has decided to marry. She is happy to meet with all the princes who will attend the ceremony, and are keen to be chosen by her. She explains to her parents, the king and queen that she does not, however, wish to meet anyone with a beard. Over the past few years there have been a string of armed robberies by a gang of tough-looking bearded thugs. The princess has come to dislike beards. Her father, the king, explains to her that it would be discourteous for them not to extend an invitation to any eligible prince, but he would be surprised if any of them still sported a beard. Will Princess Roopali find the prince of her dreams? A delightful tale set in Ancient India the story provides a window into an exotic culture and will appeal to children from all age groups – particularly those from the ages of five to one hundred.
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About the Author - Rajesh Talwar

Rajesh Talwar has more than a dozen books to his credit. His fiction includes plays, novels and stories for children. You can read more about him, and view his other books at www.rajeshtalwar.com and www.amazon.com/author/rajeshtalwar. At present he lives and works in a tropical island not far from Australia, whose seashores are visited by dolphins, crocodiles as well as the occasional mermaid.

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