A Footnote in the Endgame of History
S.K. Singh
MEMOIRS OF A REBEL PRINCESS by Abida Sultaan Oxford University Press, Karachi, 2004, 305 pp., Rs. 595.00
May 2004, volume 28, No 5

Shahryar Khan, formerly Pakistan’s Foreign Secretary and Ambassador in France, Jordan etc., and presently Chief of the Pakistan Cricket Board, is an old friend. This is his late mother’s autobiography. She was a Princess and a sportsperson who tended all her life to rebel against those whom she loved and cherished. The only exception to this was her everlasting and tender relations with her only child, Shahryar Khan, popularly known as Mian. The eldest child of Nawab Hamidullah Khan of Bhopal who failed to produce a male heir, she was made the Heir Apparent at the age of 13 in 1926, precisely the same time as he became the Ruler of Bhopal, on the abdication of his mother who had then been Bhopal’s Ruler for many years, popularly known as Sarkar Amma. It is obvious that my friend Mian contributed to the organizing and polishing of this fascinating book. He informs the reader how during the last six months of her life his mother was preoccupied just with writing her book. She based this book on her entire lifespan of 89 years, on what she had recorded in her seventy diaries.

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