Interview in DNA Newspaper

Sahyadris to Hindukush brings alive the life and times of the Indian subcontinent at the height of Maratha rule. Yogesh Pawar caught up with author Aneesh Gokhale to find out what made him take on this theme

Sahyadris to Hindukush (Flipkart & Amazon India)

Sahyadris to Hindukush – The Maratha Conquest of Lahore and Attock
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Second edition !!!

Pgs : 187

Price : Rs 200

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Interview in DNA viz Sahyadris to Hindukush

A historical novel describing the rise and spread of the Maratha empire , culminating in the conquest of Attock , situated on the banks of the holy river Indus ( Sindhu ) .’

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The year is 1740 and the budding Maratha empire has already spread across much of western and central Hindustan .Their commander Bajirao has died an unexpected and untimely death . The onus is now on Balaji Bajirao , Shahu , Holkar , Scindia , Bhosale and others to keep their flag flying high .
At the same time , across the Hindukush mountains far to the northwest , the Pakhtuns are coalescing under their new leader – Ahmed Shah Abdali .
This novel attempts to bring alive the life and times of the Indian subcontinent in the 18th century , complete with it’s grimy politics and stories of defeat , betrayal , inspiration and victory .

PRAISE FOR THE BOOK –

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“With these tales of courage, Aneesh Gokhale helps rebuild our pride in our land and its people”—  Mr Yogesh Pawar ( Asst Editor , DNA)

” A lot of pains have been taken by the author to research and write this book. To have done so at such a young age is indeed commendable” — Prof Bhalchandra Kolhatkar, ( Kesri, Pune)

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Chapter 3 – Jirga , Kandahar

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Sample pages from  ” Sahyadris to Hindukush “

Chapter 3 — Jirga , Kandahar

 

The dry brown-red cedar leaf crunched under the horse’s hoof, splintering into a hundred pieces with a distinct crackle. Rehmat Khan Barakzai, astride the sturdy Arabian horse, wrapped his keffiyah closer to his face, to protect himself from the chilly autumn winds that had begun to blow across the Afghan city of Kandahar. He looked across the barren landscape, a drab mixture of  grey , light brown and yellow. Here and there, the spruce and deodar trees sprang out of the ground, bereft of leaves, which lay scattered at the  base of their trunks. He scanned the area with the vision of a hawk, his eyes honed in the Pashtun highlands, watching the Afghans, clad in their usual long flowing clothes,go about their daily business. A bearded man carting away some fruit, a man on horseback rushing away to somewhere, few others strolling towards a mosque.Rehmat Khan was annoyed that the person he was waiting for hadn’t yet showed up. He put a hand to his forehead and peered into the distance. Rehmat Khan spotted a lone horseman, slowly making his way towards him. The outline of the pancake shaped kapol which covered his head  could be clearly made out. Finally!, thought Rehmat Khan Barakzai,  even as he raised his right hand and waved it,  signalling to the new comer.
“Taso sanga yay?” asked Barakzai, cheerfully in a loud voice as Mohamadzai came within earshot. “Pakhair” replied  Mohamadzai , his  white teeth glistening in a broad smile. He was well into his fifties, with a rapidly graying  beard and cheeks which had grown infirm with age. There was still a firm determination in his eyes though, a sign of the numerous trials by fire he had to  undergo as Khan of his tribe.
Barakzai gave a sharp jab to this horse with his right heel, and turned towards the dusty road leading to the tomb of Sher-e-Surkh. The old fort at Kandahar towered above them, lording over the Pashtun heartland. The two warlords had been invited to a jirga by the Pir Sabir Shah. Slowly they made their way their horses moving in a rhythmic trot over the barren track. It was customary for the Pashtuns to conduct such jirgas from time to time. These councils, would then decide issues of social and political importance to the Pashtuns. The untimely death of Nadir Shah, the Persian ,had prompted this latest jirga. Sensing that the Afghan lands would fall into disarray one again, Pir Sabir Shah had organized this jirga at the holy place. The Mohamadzai, Popalzai, Barakzai, Jadran, and other Pashtun chieftains had been specially invited.
Before long, the two of them had arrived at the simple sandstone monument that was the tomb of Sher-e-Surkh. Rehmat Khan Barakzai looked at the group of camel hide tents which came in view as they climbed a hillock. Coarse cream coloured fabric, blending into the surrounding plains. Barakzai and Mohamadzai trotted closer to the camp,where the Pir himself was ready to welcome them.

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