Rupa to publish ANAMIKA: A Tale of Desire in a Time of War by Meghnad Desai

He was a powerful man, as she could see from his hands and his stature. And again, those penetrating eyes. Something had happened in Anamika’s dull daily life. What did it portend?


It is the eighteenth century. Emperor Aurangzeb has fallen, the Mughal Empire is a shadow of its former self, and India is rife with civil war. In these times of gardi, you’d have to be a lion to win power, and a wolf to keep it. When the beautiful Savitri, the only daughter of the Chief Minister of Purana Zilla, marries into a rich merchant household in Ranipur, she becomes Anamika. Her future seems assured—she is to bear her loving husband Abhi many children, eventually becoming the lady of the house and perpetuating the family’s fortunes.

But a tragic accident on their wedding day renders Abhi paraplegic, seemingly dooming their perfect future. Anamika still finds bliss in her love for her husband, but her in-laws’ unfulfilled dreams of progeny threaten to consume and destroy her.

But into her life enters Abdul—the illegitimate son of Shah Ahmad Khan, locked in a deadly war with his brother Hassan for the throne. This powerful, magnetic stranger upsets the balance of her everyday life, thrusting both Anamika and Abhi into a newfound world of intoxicating freedom, conflicting desires and deadly deceit.

Crossing paths with the enigmatic courtesan-turned-bodyguard Nadya, the motherly Niloufer, the spirited young warrior princess Sonal, and a wide and motley cast of soldiers, assassins, courtesans, eunuchs, princes and queens, Anamika must make bold choices and adopt many names for the sake of both desire and survival.

Picture Credit: Rupa
Picture Credit: Rupa


LORD MEGHNAD DESAI sits as a Labour Peer in the House of Lords. He is an Honorary Fellow of the London School of Economics and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He is the Chairman of the Meghnad Desai Academy of Economics in Mumbai since June 2015. He was awarded the Pravasi Bharatiya Puraskar by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in January 2004 and the Padma Bhushan by former President Pratibha Patil in 2008. He is the author of Politicshock.

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