Book Title: Mastani by Kusum Choppra
Author: Kusum Choppra
Publisher: Rupa Publications
Number of Pages: 288
Until recently, history told us very little about who Mastani really was. She
has been known only as a 'dancing girl' due to lack of evidence about her true
place in the Peshwa household.
Daughter of Maharaj Chhatrasal of Bundelkhand, Mastani married Peshwa Baji
Rao I when he was in power, but her story remained buried almost to the extent
of being forgotten.
She was a strategist both on and off the battlefield, but this was hidden
from view due to the jealousies of women in the zenanas and power-hungry
relatives in the Peshwa household.
What was Mastani’s story? Was being a true companion to the Peshwa as well as
his most loved wife a threat large enough to omit her from the pages of history?
Fascinated for years by the secrecy behind her life and death, author Kusum
Choppra unravels the mysteries surrounding the deaths of both Peshwa Baji Rao I
and his second wife. The novel explores Mastani’s royal lineage and the elegance
of a warrior princess caught in the political web of a changing empire.