Review of The Great Mogul; Rajeev Jacob; Lancer Books 2013; Rs 450; pp 222
– Tiya Joshi
Set in the 1700’s and the present day, the story is about an Indian diamond, The Great Mogul, bigger than the Kohinoor, its disappearance and the fortunes and misfortunes of the people whose lives are woven around it and the modern day couple who’s trying to trace its history.
The book starts with the laments of a British poetess on her impending wedding estranged from her lover. Very abruptly, the next chapter the reader is subjected to the thoughts of a man who is being taken for execution for thievery in India – tied and hung upside down and hence is being forced to a view of horses’ “manhood” from where he is tied. Definitely not what I would call a compelling start of a book.
It requires quite an effort to read past the first 10 or so pages of the book. Each chapter of the book is small and either told by a character or a third person. This frequent jumps hinders it from being a smooth read. The writing style definitely needs a taut editing and one just has to flip to the end of the book to the epilogue to realise that.
A commendable aspect is that the writer managed to incorporate many of the major historical south Indian cities and areas into the plot.