The other day a popular English news magazine carried  a story regarding display of royal Indian jewels across the world this fall.   The story mentioned six royal style icons and their jewellery that made news.

Top amongst them is Maharani Gayatri Devi who was admired for her charm and beauty and featured in the list of Vogue's Ten Most Beautiful Women of the World.

Natural beauty attracts instantly.   When the beauty is from royal family, the curiosity doubles to know more about such personalities.   Exactly the same happened  in 2004 when I saw   a review of the  book " Rajmata Gayatri Devi..... Enduring Grace by Dharmendar Kanwar, published by Roli Books.

Roli Books brought out the book in celebration of  their 25 years in the publishing business.  The book is a collector's edition worth to be read again and again.     The author did a fantastic job in taking the reader to the regal  palace life  with rare photographs.   The more interesting part of the book is the  twists and turns in Gayatri Devi's  personal life  in her  marathon journey of 90 years, enduring the personal tragedies of loss of husband and son  in front of  her eyes.

I didn't have much idea about Gayatri Devi till I read that review which inspired me to purchase the book instantly.   After 10 years of reading the book,  I have taken out the book  back from the shelf , removed the dust and glimpsed into a couple of pages randomly.   It is so soothing to my heart and eyes.

The author succeeded stupendously in enacting the royal glory of those times with relevant rare photographs which is admirable.

Indira Gandhi had once described Gayatri Devi as 'a glass doll'.    Being  a Maharani of Jaipur in 1940 shortly before turning  twenty-one,  she played a key role in emancipating women of erstwhile Jaipur State and bringing them out of the purdah.

The interesting thing is the author of the book,  Dharmendar Kanwar is  an alumnus of Maharani Gayatri Devi Girls School which speaks her contribution in women education.   Reading her biography gives glimpses of history of  India beyond  the personal life of one of the most exquisite women on this planet !