The Legend of Amrapali

An enchanting saga buried within the sands of time

This book is a work of fiction

To be available at a bookstore near you from January 2012*

* You can also pre-order your copies online, starting December, 2011

Anurag Anand

.

you are about to embark on a fascinating journey – a journey into the world I come from. 3 .Speaks Beauty is usually a boon .in my case it turned out to be a bane. the Nagarvadhu of Vaishali… And with me. who helped chart my ascent to being one of the most revered women of Aryavart. Hi. I am Amrapali. In the following pages you shall witness glimpses of a time that is yours as much as it is mine – your glorious past and my enduring present. You shall meet characters – imposing and mystical.for me it was a result of survival instinct. Authority is normally an outcome of ambition .

and more than once he thought he heard the snipping of twigs or a hustle of leaves at uncomfortably close quarters. There was someone other than him in the orchard. these people are not scared of anyone. Sporadically he could hear faint calls and animal cries at a distance. but he continued unabated. He had barely passed the first couple of trees when a sound made him halt his advancing steps. Perhaps some of the dasis from the nearby households had found the time to be opportune for stealing some green mangoes for making pickle. 'What brazen display of audacity! Getting a child along while stealing.' he thought as he tiptoed towards the origin of the sound. The scene was chilling enough to cause a seizure in the weaker of hearts. It was a child crying. He had bigger fears that needed to be conquered. Wait till I get my hands on her.Excerpts from the book The jungle smelled of trampled leaves and moist woods and was clad in a deep eerie silence. 4 . an intruder.

What underlines the story of my rise to eminence? Was the title of Nagarvadhu . But there is much more to my story than just the riches and opulence. to drown their sorrows and worldly worries in. I was found under a mango tree in a garden of Vaishali by Somdutt. a humble farmer. Later.Speaks Let me begin by introducing myself… My parentage is unknown.in effect a glorified prostitute. who along with his wife fostered me – showering upon me an abundance of affection that even my real parents would have struggled to match. my exquisiteness was available for all who could afford its price. My patrons claimed that my splendor was blinding and my dancing prowess unmatched. a matter of choice for me? In a society that remained heavily prejudiced against my gender. as the Nagarvadhu of Vaishali. how did I acquire the means to ramshackle the existing hierarchy of power? Did I eventually manage to savor the sweet taste of revenge or did it continue to remain elusive? 5 . I had not even emerged out of my adolescence when my beauty became a matter of all round engrossment.

He immediately rushed towards the centre.' the Amatya almost pleaded. One of them looked vaguely familiar. but the people will know what we stand for and it will just be a matter of time before Kalki's evil ways become known to the other Rajas. Maharaj. He peered over their heads to spot three set of bodies entangled in a wrestle in a small clearing that the crowd had encircled. We will come back to power again. We might lose one election. 6 . ‘History is witness that no king is bigger than his subjects. He was worried at the direction the discussion seemed to be heading.Excerpts from the book At one end of the playground he spotted a group of boys shouting and cheering over something. retaining the faith of our people. A reign build on thousands of unsuspecting and innocent corpses can never be a successful one. using both his hands to carve a way amid the energetic onlookers and tugged on the hand he thought was his daughter's.

It was Guruji to whom I owe my entire knowledge of the subtleties of politics and governance. However. the one individual whose tenderness never failed to envelop me and whose presence was enough to make my heart skip a beat was Pushp – the charming prince of my world. Acharya was the Senapati of Vaishali in his younger years and later.the Gurukul of the Kshtriyas. 7 .with noble princes and wealthy merchants scampering over each other to gain my attention and favor. one of the most regarded teachers in the whole of Aryavart.Speaks Let us now meet some people who played a pivotal role in shaping my story – The Legend of Amrapali. Acharya Narhari: The revered guru of Rajkul . Pushpakumar: The list of my admirers was endless .

I was doing a havana for mother's well being. She was still admiring the synchronization of the flight when a white fluffy rabbit emerged from nowhere. fluttering away into oblivion. Amrapali was sweating profusely and the house smelled of burnt sandalwood and camphor. The garden presented a scene of such immense beauty unlike any she had witnessed before and instinctively she burst out into a dance of joy – whirling and spinning to soak in the panorama around her. dashing off to a nearby bush brushing past her toes.' she responded with an accomplished smile of belief. guru ji had said that if you do a havana.Excerpts from the book As the little girl winched opened the door. As if sensing the human presence. She could see a bunch of peacocks dawdling in the distance. Somdutt felt a gush of smoke escape into the open from the confines of the house. 'What have you been doing?' he exclaimed. 'Baba. a flock of nervous parrots emerged from one of the nearby trees. She will be alright now. the Gods are bound to listen to you. 8 .

it was claimed.Speaks Ballabh: Bhaichunk. in Vaishali. a Xiongnu (Mongolian) warrior who. he took his orders from none but me. the canvas of my story would have adorned a completely different shade. one of the most selfless and treasured ones was that with Prabha – my childhood friend and soul mate. Ballabh and his five comrades constituted my personal bodyguard unit. 9 . only after it had severed the heads of his adversaries. Prabha: There are some bonds that are forged at the time of ones birth – I had none. And out of the associations that were formed during my lifetime. Her altruistic gallantry and unrelenting support lent a whole new meaning to the word 'friendship' and but for her. A ferocious fighter. the movement of whose sword wielding arm became visible. had been rechristened as Ballabh for the ease of articulation. Marred by the limitations of language.

Prabha took to the stage. your beloved Nagarvadhu.Excerpts from the book Dressed in white and without the embellishment of other adornments. Rugs gleaming with gold thread covered the floors while the walls were hung with richly colored brocades decorated with strings of pearls and colored glass globes. 'Welcome to the Mahal of Amrapali.' muttered Amrapali. The soothing smell of frankincense from incense burners in which golden crystals of resins were smoldering created an aura that no man could resist. she painted a picture of purity and serenity that left the crowd stunned and speechless. It was as though she in her simplicity was making a statement that her beauty was imperforate and not subjugated to extraneous ornamentation. 10 . as with the pre-decided beats of the tabla. The hall was ablaze with light from giant silver candelabras and torches.

Yudhveer was instrumental in bringing about one of the most remarkable political coups in the history of Vaishali. A man who was one of my most fervent admirers and yet my staunchest adversary. was also responsible for bringing about widespread misery and suffering to his populace.Speaks Manudeva: The illustrious Lichchavi King whose initial years at the helm marked Vaishali's ascent into a new era – one of prominence and all round prosperity. Contrastingly in his later years Manudeva – corrupted by the throes of conceit and arrogance. An able administrator and a worthy being marred only by the unrestrained flight of his ambitions. 11 . Yudhveer: The Deputy King of Vaishali and a promising member of the Lichchavi clan.

Prabha had slowly drifted to the background and had made a quiet exit. 12 .Excerpts from the book Unperturbed by the developments. The constant chugging of the palace chimneys and the sightings of untimely entries and exits added further credence to these rumors making the palace and its residents somewhat feared and dreaded as well. the pace of Amrapali's movements was gradually intensifying as the musicians went hard on their instruments. Within the affluent quarters. If indeed there were Apsaras dancing in the heavens. especially the wives of those who were regular visitors to Amrapali's palace and those handful of exceptional men who had managed to refrain from the indulgences. there were hushed whispers about the palace being a center of occult arts. they would surely be laden with pangs of jealousy at the act a mere mortal was putting up on stage tonight. The hypnotic effect of the Nagarvadhu's beauty on the men who set their eyes on her was well-known and it was only convenient to attribute it to powers beyond that of mere mortals. Her bhavas changed like the moods of the sea. her eyes communicating with every member of the audience from under the flickering arch of her brow. The reasoning also helped the women with an excuse to forgive their erring husbands and refrain from seeking uncomfortable explanations from them and from their own selves. leaving the entire stage open for Amrapali.

The city of Vaishali derives its name from King Vishal whose heroic deeds are chronicled in the Hindu epic Ramayana. He even made a stop at Vaishali on his way to Kusinara. was one of the sixteen prominent confederacies of the Indian Subcontinent. in 500 B. The Jain Tirthankar. Lord Buddha too traveled to the city more than once during his lifetime. Vaishali has the distinction of being one of the first republics to have a democratically elected government. the city was a hotbed for religion and learning as well. the place of his Mahaparinirvana – the final deathless state and abandonment of his earthly body. Lord Mahavir was born in Kuldalgrama. a village in Vaishali. It spanned from the Himalayas in the north to the Gandak River to its West. In my time. and around. also made it a prominent center for inland trade.Speaks Now that you are familiar with the cast. 13 . let me introduce you to the battleground – the glorious land where my saga unfolded… The Vajji Kingdom (or Kingdom of Vaishali). The axial location of its capital city.C. Vaishali. occupying most of the fertile lands of the Himalayan Gangetic Plains.

Rejoice my friend.' Amrapali said as she went down on her knees to touch the man's feet. His attire. basal voice pronouncing the harmonic words of a shloka in a melodious chant. The voice clearly belonged to the old man who sat in one corner.' Prabha said. 'The chakra of suffering has completed a full circle today . was white like snow and a mercurial glow seemed to be emanating from his unusually broad forehead.Excerpts from the book As they stepped inside they were greeted by a heavy. 'Pranam Guruji.with the tyrant himself being exposed to the agonizing stings of torment. eyes closed and using his thumb to count the rudraksha beads of a rosary he held between his index and middle fingers. 14 . But unlike you. for the demon rests slain. reaching out to embrace her friend. like his beard and hair. he turned out to be a gutless escapist and succumbed to the inflictions of his own debauchery. the Nagarvadhu of Vaishali.

So. you can't call me and neither can you visit my Facebook profile. if you are indeed interested in knowing more about me and my story. Also. 15 . The one thing you can do though is grab your copy of 'The Legend of Amrapali' from your nearest bookstore and the one thing I can promise you is a story far more compelling than the glimpses you have already witnessed. a man whose name I struggle to pronounce had not thought of what you know as 'Facebook'. back then. We didn't have gadgets like mobile phones that you today use to communicate with each other and neither were we blessed with devices like the television and radio.Speaks I come from a time when we used chariots and horses instead of the machination you call motor vehicles.

anuraganand.in 16 .About the Author Anurag Anand is a Banking Professional from the city of dreams. severing all ties with the world around. His other bestselling titles under the banner of Srishti Publishers include: Reality Bites: A not to innocent love story. You can reach Anurag through: contact@anuraganand.in Anurag Anand anuraganand1978 www. His passion for writing is an offshoot of one of his favorite pastimes – cuddling up with an interesting book and embarking on a voyage of fantasy. and The Quest for Nothing: Where love and deceit are on a collision path Anurag's past works have been widely acclaimed for their realism. clear definition of characters and ability to transport readers into the world concealed within their pages. Mumbai.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful