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4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  836 Ratings  ·  99 Reviews
The time is early 16th century. The Rajput kingdom of Mewar is at the height of its power. It is locked in war with the Sultanates of Delhi, Gujarat and Malwa. But there is another deadly battle being waged within Mewar itself. who will inherit the throne after the death of the Maharana? The course of history, not just of Mewar but of the whole of India, is about to be cha ...more
Unknown Binding, 609 pages
Published January 1st 1997 by Harper Collins Publishers
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Dec 05, 2014 Warwick rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, india, rajasthan
We were that rarest of couples. Even after years of marriage we were madly in love. I with her and she with somebody else.

Cuckold is set in early sixteenth-century Mewar, one of the many smallish kingdoms occupying the area of what's now Rajasthan state, in northwest India. Frankly you could tell me anything about sixteenth-century Mewar and I would have no reason to disbelieve you; my complete ignorance of the period and place is one of the things that made reading this book such a fascinatin
Tanuj Solanki
Aug 21, 2013 Tanuj Solanki rated it it was ok
Shelves: abandoned
Dumped after 23 pages.

It wastes 23 pages actually. The setting is 16th century, and Nagarkar writes sentences like

- "I think he got the drift..."
- "Must have cost you an arm and a leg."
- "He had a point there..."

I mean, Mr. Nagarkar, you can't even hint at slang when you're writing Historical Fiction in a foreign language. Know that.
Sonia Gomes
Oct 09, 2013 Sonia Gomes rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Any person interested in India, particularly the Rajput age
Shelves: fantastic, india
How strange it must have been to the Crown Prince of Mewar - or to any man for that matter, when your beautiful bride, the one with the green eyes as he calls her- refuses to sleep with him on his wedding night. He is confused, sad and lonely. Things have never too easy for the Rajkumar. The Rajput Kingdom of Mewar is locked in battles with the Sultanates of Mewar, Malwa and Gujerat. Then there are the scheming wives of the Maharana, who want to oust the Rajkumar from power so that their own son ...more
Jun 24, 2016 Arvind rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
4.5/5 This book is a wonderful mix of 'Bambaiyaa' smartness, historical fiction, nihilism and philosophies, and some brilliant set-pieces. And i guess the mix is distinctly Nagarkar.
The author has been bold in the manner in which he has written such a long book. There is a single thread of narration that follows the Maharaj Kumar and I could have easily been bored in the long 600+ pages, but I was not. . Secondly, The language was modern but it somehow didnt feel awkward. The lucidity meant that
Gorab Jain
Feb 11, 2016 Gorab Jain rated it it was amazing
Shelves: indian, 2016
This review is slightly biased for I'm very much in love with the vibrant and colorful Mewar, and the premise for this book is the story of Rajput clans of Mewar around 15th century.
Brilliant composition and a compulsive page turner. Told as an autobiography of Maharaj Kumar, the eldest son of Maharana Sangram Sinha (more popularly known as Rana Sanga), this book unfolds the state of mind of the king, his way of leading and the formulation of unorthodox war strategies.
While fending off the
Maura Finkelstein
Jul 18, 2009 Maura Finkelstein rated it it was amazing
This book is incredible. At times I found the extensive descriptions of medieval Rajput warfare a bit obtuse and exhausting, but that is most likely because I was eager to get back to the sex and scandal. Go figure...
Nagarkar created magic out of legend and folklore and brought to life some of the most well know historical figures in Indian history...I have always enjoyed the story of Meerabai for the obvious reasons (tough 16th century feminist and all that), but found my affections completely
Moushumi Ghosh
Oct 16, 2012 Moushumi Ghosh rated it it was amazing
Nagarkar stuns with this historical novel. For a long time, I did not read it being overwhelmed by the sheer size of the volume but I had been depriving myself. It is definitely Nagarkar's masterpiece. In spite of the novel being narrated from a man's perspective, the voice is still of the marginalized, something that Nagarkar excels in. The story of a man who tries to win the heart of a woman who is obsessed with a god. How does one compete with a god? While the focus may appear romantic, the n ...more
May 30, 2008 Naeem rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Naeem by: Anjali Nerleker
While Ravan and Eddie and God's Little Soldier have a frenetic energy -- the former's dominant tone being humor, the latter's serious urgency, but both having both -- the prose and tone in Cuckold is sustained, tempered, and reflective.

Form follows function, or in writing one might say that form follows content. The setting is 16th century India. The book are the memoir of a young first born prince of Mewar. The Portuguese are in the background, but the book focuses on the inner workings of t
Sep 09, 2012 Manny rated it it was amazing
I generally judge Indian authors differently from Western authors and give them more leeway. This book shook my perceptions on Indian writing and my biggest joy was that this was written by an Indian with literary flair.

This is one of the best books I have read in the recent past and like some earlier reviewers mentioned, I found it sad towards the end as I didn't want it to end.

The book was an extremely well-written historical novel portraying the memoirs of the Prince of Chittor and the husba
Amarjit Sahay
Mar 06, 2010 Amarjit Sahay rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Readers of great literary masterpieces
Recommended to Amarjit by: The book shop
I felt depressed when (only) the last few pages in the book were left to read.I wanted the book to go on forever. I found the construction of the Maharaj kumar's personality, character and thought processes fascinating.

Similar to the Princess of Maerta, I have come across Saints who are self absorbed, create enormous disturbances in other peoples lives, are possessive and jealous, and yet leave behind an everlasting message for those whose hearts and minds are open to understanding our oneness w
Abhyudaya Shrivastava
Nov 02, 2016 Abhyudaya Shrivastava rated it it was amazing
It is a 608 pages long book of historical fiction but it reads like a fast thriller. Kiran Nagarkar has no qualms about the fact that he has fictionalized the life of Bhoj Raj Singh. A guy who is very little known to history. History remembers him as the poor husband of Meera bai- the Little Saint. His marital life is far from a bliss. He falls in love with multiple women including his own wet nurse. Yes, there is incest in the history of Mewar but that is the least scandalous scandal of
Jun 15, 2008 Manu rated it really liked it
There are two things that troubled me when I read this book:

1) Why does Nagarkar's ability to demonstrate music's ability to transport us into an 'interstitial' space leave me cold? Let me clarify: Music transports me as well, but it is usually to a foot-stomping place (a la, pop music); I am left cold because though I yearn for the experience, I only understand it as theory. Try as I may, Indian classical music puts me to sleep - something I am ashamed of. Nagarkar's gift to me, despite my earl
Jun 21, 2014 Vaidya rated it really liked it
At some points I just wanted to throw the book out, I wanted to rail, rant and scream! Although Nagarkar excuses himself right at the beginning for the language - "an easy colloquial currency of language will make the concerns, dilemmas and predicaments of the Maharaj Kumar, Rana Sanga, and the others as real as anything we ourselves caught in", it seems too forced. It seems at many places that he's talking down to you using that most abominable of phrases "..if you will".

And then after some ti
Dec 09, 2016 Poornima rated it really liked it
It took me about 10 days to finish a 607 pages book,which is an inordinately long time for me.
I have always liked historical fiction and this book is no exception. The historical figures of Rana Sangha,Maharaj Kumar(the protagonist),Princess or Little saint more popularly known to us as Mirabai,Queen Karmavati,Babur and more are brought alive and close to us.
One knows it is going to end in tragedy and that might have been one reason why I was prolonging the agony. The lives of royalty and courti
Preethi Venugopala
Oct 06, 2016 Preethi Venugopala rated it it was amazing
Cuckold is a historical tome that bewitches and teleports the reader into sixteenth century Mewar, a powerful Rajput kingdom in the present day state of Rajasthan. It paints the life of Maharaj Kumar, the then heir apparent of Mewar, married and in love with his wife, the Saint Meera.

Maharaj Kumar, the narrator of the story, is the quintessential cuckold. Both his wives have lovers. One is the flautist, the omnipresent God and the other, his step-brother.

Kiran Nagarkar has done a brilliant job
Amit Mishra
May 12, 2012 Amit Mishra rated it it was amazing
How do you compete with a rival, no less than Lord Krishna, for the undivided attention of your girl?

This and many such other questions form the bedrock of this Sahitya Academy award winning story from Mr. Kiran Nagarkar.

I must say that i quiet enjoy, reading about fictional characters interwoven the backdrop of known history. Here we have the fictional Maharaj Kumar (in history he was known as Prince Bhojraj) married to Meerabai. The book is a perspective of a much in love price with this saint
Vihag Gupta
Mar 09, 2013 Vihag Gupta rated it really liked it
This is perhaps the best English novel by an Indian author I have ever read.
The protagonist, the maharaj kumar, the heir apparent effortlessly intertwines history, the people, the mindset of mewar. but central to it all is his internal strife to become a better statesman, a better lover. his antics of posing as the blue god , his wife's lover is beautifully elucidated and his transformation (maybe realization ) of himself as the blue one is intensely thought provoking.
Gideon Arulmani
Jun 06, 2009 Gideon Arulmani rated it really liked it
Eroticism in its most sublime form. Imagine being married to Meera and having to contend with Krishna as the 'other' in the triangle. A Krishna bakta she might be, but Nagarkar teases out her fraities when her husband moves further afield.
Meera Srikant
Feb 07, 2013 Meera Srikant rated it it was amazing
Couldn't put this down. In fact, almost didn't feel like reading the last few pages as that would mean the end of the story... Wonderful story, language, intrigue, perspective...
Nov 07, 2014 WordsBeyondBorders rated it really liked it
பதாகை இதழில வெளிவநதது -
மேவார ராஜஜியததின அடுதத வாரிசு, மகாராஜ குமார எனறு படடம சூடடி அழைககபபடும இளவரசருககு, ஒரு பெரிய சிககல. அவர மனைவி தான இனனொருவருககுச சொநதமானவர எனகிறார. மகாராஜ குமாரால யார அநத ஆசாமி எனறு கணடுபிடிகக முடியவிலலை, அபபடி ஒருவர இருபபதாகவே தெரியவிலலை. சரி, ஏதாவது தீய அமானுஷய சகதியின வேலையாக இருககும, பேயோடடலாம எனறு பாரககுமபோது. “You can exorcise the devil. But how do you rid yourself of a God!” எனற கேளவி எழுகிறது. ஆம இளவரசி தன மனதில வரி
Madhulika Liddle
Apr 28, 2016 Madhulika Liddle rated it really liked it
In the early 16th century, the powerful Rajput kingdom of Mewar was ruled from Chittor, its sovereign lord the one-eyed, one-armed, battle-scarred Rana Sanga. His heir apparent, the Maharaj Kumar, was a man history has pretty much forgotten: Bhoj Raj. But Bhoj Raj’s wife was a legend, a woman who even today is celebrated in Indian literature, in popular culture and music and religious tradition: the Bhakti poetess, Meera Bai. Meera Bai, so deeply devoted to the deity Krishna, that she considered ...more
Nov 11, 2015 Anupriya rated it it was amazing
I have only one word to describe it. Stunning . It's been a while since I got such a feeling on completing a book! I don't know why I did not read it sooner. Superbly dramatic in treatment, full of wicked and unexpected twists and turns in its plotting, amazingly passionate, imaginative and heartbreaking, it is one of the best novels I have read by an Indian novelist. The author has put in an impressive amount of research into this novel.

The story is about a hopeless love triangle. One angle of
May 05, 2010 Rhymee rated it really liked it
Nagarkar picks up the legend of Meera, and turns it into an analysis of a wide spectrum of complex characters, political upheaval, Rajput patriotism, Mughal ambitions and finally the huge ramifications it has on the course of a country’s history. The story told from the viewpoint of the cuckold breaks all conventions of the stereotypical hero. It allows us to explore the possibility of having a God, none other than the Flautist as a competitor.

Nagarkar takes the liberty of drawing a hero who is
Seema Ravi krishna
Dec 13, 2016 Seema Ravi krishna rated it liked it
Now this book requires a lot of patience and is trying at times. Not just because of its sheer volume but the meandering discourse which makes it hard for the reader to stick along at times. It is a good read and does fair amount of justice to the Maharaj Kumar's characterization but the book isn't as powerful as other works like Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni or Ajaya and Asura by Anand Neelakantan. I believe the book lost its conviction somewhere along the way.
Dec 02, 2013 Saloni rated it really liked it
A book that took me three years and three beginnings to finish, and at times made me want to fling it at unsuspecting strangers and hurl expletives at everyone and everything, it made me realize somewhere in the middle why the initial struggle was completely worth it.

Cuckold is the narrative of Maharaj Kumar Bhojraj, prince of Mewar and husband of the much written about Bhakti saint, Meerabai. It documents his life; the 'infidelity' of his wife, his aspirations for the kingdom of Mewar, the fulf
Gaurav Moghe
Apr 30, 2015 Gaurav Moghe rated it really liked it
While Fifty Shades of Grey painfully needed the concept of BDSM to deliberately show erotica, and still not managed to do so with all the spankin' and bangin'. Try your hands at Cuckold, a story set in the 16th century Rajput Kigdom.

Kiran Nagarkar, the author, who didn't want this historical fiction to be rooted rigidly in history in terms of dates and events, retells the famous story of a love-triangle between the Rajput King, Meerabai -- and Lord Krishna. Having married to the royal family, M
What a brilliant piece of literature! This book had me in its throes, dragging me back to its side, no matter where I was, making me talk about it, think about it and not rest in peace till I finish it.

I loved the narration, the plot, the pace of the story, each of the characters for all their strengths and weaknesses and the story told.

Exceptional English literature like this on subjects like history are the reason why I read books, for the time travel I get to do.

I was in the palace at Chitto
Viji Suresh
Feb 22, 2014 Viji Suresh rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Cuckold, I should say is brilliant.

To be honest, I opened and closed the book for at least 15 times, before I finished 100 pages, very rare for someone who is not a patient reader. But the book grew on me and I had read this book for 3 times now. Meera is someone whom I adored since I was a child, her bhajans, her love for the lord and never once thought about her husband or his plight. First I was taken aback by the portrayal. As the pages moved, I had this strong pull and felt sad for the Raj
Mar 17, 2015 Nancy rated it really liked it
a good historic semi fiction read into the life of Maharaj Bhoj Raj in his words. The book has many descriptives on Maharaja Kumar's own thoughts & his affection for his wife. The book covers drama, war, action, deceit & various faces to human behaviour in royal family for the want of power.
Oct 21, 2012 Lesley rated it it was amazing
Brilliant! An absolute masterpiece. Maharaj Kumar is the most engaging protagonist I have read in a long time. Cuckold is an instant all-time favourite of mine.
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Kiran Nagarkar was born in Bombay in 1942. In addition to plays and screenplays, he has written four novels, establishing his reputation as an outstanding representative of contemporary Indian literature. His books are a target of ideological critique due to the hybrid nature of his version of postcolonialism, involving irreverence alongside seriousness.

Nagarkar studied at the Ferguson College in
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“Let nobody fool you, most couples are conjoined on earth.
The mismatches, now they are a different story. They are made in heaven
“No amount of culture or civilization can subdue or hide the wanton violence in man.” 6 likes
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