I am so grateful to these authors who are helping in reviving the history of our beloved India. The more I read, the more curious I become. The Pregnant King written by Devdutt Pattanaik is yet another book which showcases the combination of history and fantasy jotted down in one book.
Plot: The book is about Yuvashanava, King of Vallabhi who is in desperate need of a child to confirm his authority over the throne. Vallabh was ruled by Shilavati, mother of Yuvashanava since the age of 16 after the death of her husband, King of Vallabhi. Strong, knowledgeable and a great ruler, Shilavati made Vallabhi prosper enormously. The bond between mother and son was highly strong and being the only son and heir to the throne, he was highly protected. At the right age, he was married to Simantini, they loved each other but things changed when she couldn’t have a child. For this reason, Yuvashanava got married again, to Polumi, but the problem remained same. After 3 years of second marriage, again no child which led to the third marriage to a potter girl, Keshini. After 13 years and 3 wives, Yuvashana could not have the pleasure of being a father.
After all this, the now King Yuvashanava could not wait any longer thus he asked his priests to give him a son like King Drupada got. The rituals and yangna’s began and the potion was ready but unknowingly the King himself drinks it and conceive a son. After the first son, soon Queen Polumi conceives and they have another son.
As you start reading the book, the twists and turns create a different level of excitement. It revolves around Yuvashanava’s motherhood, his eagerness of being called a “mother” than a “father”, his special love for his first son born out of him, the abandoning of Yuvashanava by his son after knowing the truth, cold war between Yuvashanava and his mother Shilavati, hatred of Polumi for Yuvashanava, embarrassment, all combined in such a way that makes one visualise the entire book as if happening right in front of them. I really enjoyed this book and it was a great pleasure learning about such an interesting character.
Currently Reading: The Sialkot Saga by Ashwin Sanghi