The Maharaja’s Household: A Daughters’ Memories of Her Father


Author: Binodini
Translated by L. Somi Roy

9789384757090 | PB | pp. 240 | 2015 | Zubaan

Binodini is a memoir which provides a unique and intimate view of life in the erstwhile royal household of Manipur in northeast India in addition to untold histories of the British Raj.

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Part memoir, part oral testimony, part eyewitness account, Binodini’s The Maharaja’s Household provides a unique and engrossingly intimate view of life in the erstwhile royal household of Manipur in northeast India. It brings to life stories of kingdoms long vanished, and is an important addition to the untold histories of the British Raj.

Maharaj Kumari Binodini Devi, who wrote under the single name of Binodini, published The Maharaja’s Household as a series of essays between 2002 and 2007 for an avid newspaper reading public in Manipur. Already celebrated across the state for her award-winning novel, short stories, and film scripts, Binodini entranced her readers anew with her stories of royal life, told from a woman’s point of view and informed by a deep empathy for the common people in her father’s gilded circle.

Elephant hunts, polo matches and Hindu temple performances form the backdrop for palace intrigues, colonial rule and White Rajahs. With gentle humour, piquant observations and heartfelt nostalgia, Binodini evokes a lifestyle and era that is now lost. Her book paints a portrait of the household of a king that only a princess – his daughter – could have written.

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Translator: L. Somi Roy









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About the Author

Binodini (M.K. Binodini Devi, 1922-2011) was a Manipuri novelist, short story writer, dramatist, screenwriter, essayist and lyricist. She was the youngest daughter of Maharaja Churachand Singh and Maharani Dhanamanjuri Devi of Manipur, now a state in northeast India. She was the recipient of the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1976.


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