Short Biography of Michael Madhusudan Dutt

However, he was a gifted writer who had written considerably even in his earlier years. Though he began his creative writing in English, he later turned to Bengali and is remembered today more by his great Bengali epic Meghanad Bandha than by his English writings.

The Captive Ladie was published in Madras in 1849. It is a narrative poem which shows the influence of the English Ro­mantics particularly of Sir Walter Scott and Byron. The theme of the poem is the love story of Prithviraj and Samyukta and the way in which the heroic abduction of Samyukta by Prithviraj had far-reaching consequences in Indian history.

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While one notices in the poem the stamp of Byron’s east­ern tales, one cannot miss the fluency of the verse as also its metrical perfection.

The Captive Ladie:

The following tale is founded on a circumstance pretty gener­ally known in India, and, if I mistake not, noticed by some European writers. A little before the famous Indian expedition of Mahmud Ghuzni, the King of Kanauj celebrated the “Rajshooio Jugum” or, as I have translated it in the text, the “Feast of Victory.” Almost all the contemporary Princes, being unable to resist his power, attended it, with the exception of the King of Delhi, who being a lineal descendant of the Great Pandu Princes — the heroes of the far-famed Mahabharat of Vyasa — refused to sanction by his presence the assumption of a dignity — for the celebration of this Festival was an universal assertion of claims to being considered as the lord paramount over the whole country — which by right of descent belonged to his family alone.

The King of Kanauj highly incensed at this refusal, had an image of gold made to represent the absent chief. On the last day of the Feast, the King of Delhi, having, with a few chosen followers, entered the palace in disguise, carried off this image, together, as some say, with one of the Princesses Royal whose hand he had once solicited but in vain, owing to his obstinate maintenance of the rights of his ancient house.

The fair Princess, however, was retaken and sent to a solitary castle to be out of the way of her pugnacious lover, who eventually effected her escape in the disguise of a Bhat or Indian Troubadour. The King of Kanauj never forgave this insult, and, when Mahumud invaded the Kingdom of Delhi, sternly refused to aid his son-in-law in expelling a foe, who soon after crushed him too. I have slightly deviated from the above story in representing my heroine as sent to confinement before the celebration of the “Feast of Victory.” The queen of Delhi burnt herself on the funeral pyre with her dead husband.

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