Book Review of Rawal Family of Amka by Mahendra Singh

Book Review of Rawal Family of Amka by Mahendra Singh

This book is a work of non-fiction which presents a detailed insight into the Rawal family of Amka, Gautam Budh Nagar, Uttar Pradesh, India. Rawals are a sub caste of Bhati Jats and they used to have many villages under them in Uttar Pradesh such as Amka, Dhoom Manikpur, Dadri, Ghori Baccehera, Hajipur, Samauddinpur and Jaitpur. Later they spread out to various other places. It is said that while the members of this lineage are small in number but their contributions to the society and country are huge in number. The eye for detail and the depth with which the family history is charted along with a detailed look into the each and every member of this family, their respective roles and contributions pans put in a systematic and well maintained manner which creates a sense of balance that does not go overboard with the information nor does it underplay the importance of the family history. This makes the book an enticing, thoroughly educational and highly scholarly work of non-fiction from someone who deeply dotes on each of the members of this family and is proud of this lineage. In fact the book comes with a chronological fashion of relaying the information that makes the book informative without taking it to the ends of boredom. This also explains why the book has reached its third edition in such a short span of time. It has a lot to do with the fast selling nature of the book, its accuracy in penning important ideas and the deep reverence with which the history of the Rawals is noted while also bringing forth their challenges and the manner in which they dealt with those challenges. This makes their story a relatable one to the common person. The purpose of the author is to explain the joint family system which is fast integrating in a modernised and fast paced world. At 226 pages the book is moderately lengthy and has a well done out book cover that comprises of a portrait of the male ancestors of the Rawal family which was taken in 1917. The book begins its contents with a family tree of Maharaja Jait Singh of Jaisalmer whose descendant Mohar Singh Ji established Amka in 1818. The contents page has a refreshing, well organised arrangement that is new and thoughtful which gives the explanation and the hint in terms of the manner in which the ideas that are collected in this text are going to be presented. An overview of the village of Amka elucidates the importance and significance of this small place which is followed by a poem in Hindi titled Aamon ka Sehra. This bilingualism breaks the feel of the nonfiction book as something which is extremely difficult to understand and interpret and instead puts in its place the idea that this book is approachable and easy to grasp. This has a lot to do with the narrative style of the text. It does not maintain a formal decorum and does not strictly adhere to protocols of non-fictional prose that will make the book reading a tedious process. Instead, the simple language, simplification of thought, adherence to clarity of expression and an overall tone of connecting with the readers, reaching out to their senses and making them get a feel of the place adds a romanticised angle to this text. There are not too many hard or difficult words that are presented and there is a sense of balance in the kindo of language used for this text in the sense that facts are presented without over appreciating any of the members or undermining any others. This is the beauty of this book. The overall balance in everything shows that this is a work by someone who has thought out every nook and cranny of this book in a detailed manner. The nomenclature of the place Amka is explained in brief which is followed by some interesting facts about Amka that are numbered one after the other making the book highly scientific and systematic to read. The twists and turns in the story of Amka and its Rawals family comes when the mythological and religious angle to it is revealed as the Rawals are said to be the direct descendants of Lord Shri Krishna who is an avatar of God Vishnu. In short, the book not only introduces the Rawal family but also provides information on their lineage, its historical backgrounds and the manner in which they sustained themselves as a family and as a people whose efforts made them earn so much respect in society. There are photographs that have been given about these members and it helps to relate to the content and connect with each of these individual’s lives and its many turns. The fact that the history of the Rawal family is not only restricted to Amka but to other places where the Rawals were found helps to ascertain the reach of this widely spread out well educated and influential family. The photos are clear proof of the sense of good upbringing and sophistication that the individual members share which comes from belonging to an intellectually well -off family lineage. On the whole, the book is worth multiple readings as it has a lot of depth of thought that will take time to absorb in the mind of the reader.

Name of Book: Rawal Family of Amka

Author: Mahendra Singh

Publisher: Evincepub

Pages: 226

Genre: Non-fiction

Reviewed by: Tasnima Yasmin

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