Urnabhih is the debut novel of Sumedha V. Ojha, and in her debut novel Sumedha Ojha packs in a powerful narrative from the Mauryan era. Sumedha V. Ojha was born in Patna, the ancient Patliputra which was once the seat of Mauryan Empire. She has graduated in Economics from the Lady Shri Ram College in Delhi. After working as a bureaucrat In the Government of India, she settled in Switzerland and has come up with a fantastic tale of deceit, political intrigue and romance.
Urnabhih means a spider web and the reason for selecting such a unique title is clear as you progress with the novel. The novel is set during the time when Chandragupta Maurya, aided by his guru Chanakya, is yet to extend his empire to the corners of Jambudweepa (name for the ancient India). The novel begins at a time when the royal apartment is busy preparing for the marriage of Chandragupta. Misrakesi, our heroine enters the scene with intent to kill Chanakya and avenge the death of her elder sister. However, she is soon swept up in the intricate network of spies who have been employed by Chanakya to ensure the safety of the king and the kingdom.Misrakesi is a fiery young woman with resolve, determination and a drive to make an identity for her. She is strangely ancient and modern and is the perfect blend of beauty, wits and courage. Misrakesi is a woman of principles and her sense of dignity speaks out through the pages. Misrakesi finds her match in the brooding, serious and arrogant Pushyamitra.
Pushyamitra is the ultimate masculine hero; well-built, muscular, calculating and with a devotion to his motherland. Misrakesi and Pushyamitra are instrumental for Chanakya’s scheme to unify the land. In completing the various missions assigned to them, Misrakesi and Pushyamitra are drawn towards each other beginning a fiery, passionate romance.
The action of the novel varies from subtle to direct battles. The various political intrigues to safeguard the life and Kingdom of Chandragupta Maurya are such that will amaze the modern sensibilities. In fact, the novel begins with a carefully planned death attempt on the life of Chandragupta and the responsibility to foil the plans falls on Misrakesi’s tender shoulders.
The novel, as the author herself put, is visual in its narrative. The novel does not give us a glimpse but it completely transports us to the world of the Mauryans, with minute details of the Mauryan society and its lifestyle. From architecture of buildings to the minute detail of attire worn by various factions of society has been carefully described in an engaging manner. Not once does one feel like putting the book aside. What you could not learn about Mauryans in your history class, you can learn it from Urnabhih.
Urnabhih is an engaging read, letting the reader take a peek in the lives of people who could make or break the mighty Mauryan Empire. The TV right for the novel is already sold and it’s only a matter of time before you would see the enchanting characters materialise on small screen. So grab your copies now and travel along Misrakesi through the political corridors of ancient Patliputra.