Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Zhansi Ki Rani Lakshmibai: Pride of Every Indian or Rather Every Human

I was browsing channels few hours ago and incidentally came across a title of one Zee TV sop Ek Veer Stree Ki Kahani...Zhansi Ki Rani, literally translating into 'story of a brave woman....Queen of Zhansi'. We all have heard and read about Lakshmibai from elementary school level but little did we know then that personalities like hers have actually shaped and have sown a seed of new wisdom for us to follow even when the British are no more around. In spite of being habitual of paying no heed to Zee TVs and Star TVs for their saas-bahu kinda serials, this time I decided to hang on for few minutes to see what this serial is all about. As many of such history inspired TV dramas are preposterous in nature for not stating the history as it is, this one seemed a fairly less extravagant effort in portraying the life of a legend called Zhansi Ki Rani.

Few scenes in the 30 minute serial were perhaps so appealing in nature that it even made me question could these incidents shown be real? A quick googling later helped me understand that in fact the very nature of Lakshmibai's life, account by account is an intriguing narration in itself.
That's when I decided to know more of her larger than life persona by reading her biography on And as author N S Ramaprasad has rightly put it in the prelude "She was the queen of a small state, but the empress of a limitless empire of glory."

The inspiration from this moving introduction was far more than just convincing for me to spend my last 45 minutes in reading her small yet highly significant life story. As is being shown in TV and as present in her biographies one thing that catches ones attention is how she had shown a character of 'patriotism, self-respect and heroism' par excellence from her pre-teens. Hence as we proceed through the pages the things become more and more clear that her childhood marriage to the King of Peshwa, early demise of her husband, denial of travel permission to Varanassi by British to shave her head, even the death of her infant were not mere facts of an unjust Almighty but a means of self discovery for Lakshmibai to take reigns of Zhansi one day and live a life no one in this world has ever lived...though only for 22 years.

I urge everyone to go through the biography of Lakshmibai and take part in process of self discovery. We may no longer have colonial powers around but dominant ills like dowry, rape, domestic violence, infanticide, foeticide etc are still looming large going by disgusting national statistics, we need 21st century Zhansi Ki Rani like Lakshmibais who will stand the test of time and fight the menace.

On an emotional but logical end note, her biography has once again after many days has made me ponder on after all what is it that people like Lakshmibai, Jeejabai, Onake Obavva, Tipu Sultan, Bhagat Singh....Maj. Sandip Unnikrishnan and many such souls are made of. Circumstances, values, or what is it that has defined their conscience far outweighing their own will to live for themselves like most of us do.