The man who was not born to be king : Wajid Ali Shah

The last king in India, Wajid Ali Shah, is beautifully narrated book about the life and times of the last ruler of the kingdom of Awadh.

The last king in India, Wajid Ali Shah, is beautifully narrated book about the life and times of the last ruler of the kingdom of Awadh.

Wajid Ali Shah, The Last ruler of Awadh


The main USP of this book is that the author has highlighted both the positives and negatives of the man who never forgot that he was a king, and did not allow others to forget it.


The kingdom of Awadh was the last kingdom in India to be annexed by the British East India Company in February 1856.


And it was annexed by the ‘East India Company’ without being a single shot fired.


So, let’s start by asking some basic questions.


Who was Wajid Ali Shah?

Wajid Ali Shah was the last ruler of the kingdom of Awadh, India.


Wajid Ali Shah, was born in 1822, at that time the ruler of Awadh was his great-uncle, Ghazi-ud-din Haidar.


In fact he was not born to be king.


But, because of some extreme circumstances his grandfather was placed on the throne by the British East India Company.


After the death of his father, King Amjad Ali Shah, he came to the throne in 1847.


He ruled from Lucknow from Feb 1847 to Feb 1856.


Before being anointed as a king, Wajid Ali Shah was considered as an incompetent person by the company.


And to a some extent because of his extravagant lifestyle he proved that the company was not wrong about him.


Wajid Ali Shah, ruled for a brief period of nine years.


And in that years his main concerns was enjoying the hedonistic lifestyle.


He had married approximately 375 women in his life time.


Though he was a prolific writer in his own sense.


He had directed few dramas, composed poems, and also written an autobiography by the name of ‘Ishqnamah’.


But as a ruler of a kingdom he proved his incompetency during his life time.


After the annexation of his kingdom he decided to live in Calcutta, and he remained there till his last breath.


He created his own mini-kingdom in his ‘Garden reach’ house in Calcutta.


For History lovers this book is a must read.


And for others I would say that reading about one’s own country and its past is like an elixir which needs to be consumed on a daily basis.


I will end with this bon mot :-


‘A child educated only at school is an uneducated child’.


My Ratings : ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5/5)


I hope you like this, Thanks for reading, Jai Hind.


Order your copy from here –


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Yash Sharma

Namaste reader, My name is Yash, and books for me are like a medicine, which removes my ignorance and also helps me in behaving more like a human.Though I live in the world’s largest democracy, India, but when I look around, I realized that this democratic nation of mine has turned into a kind of feudal oligarchy or kleptocracy, where people from a particular community or I would say particular surname has hijacked this democracy, and the political parties in India has turned itself into a kind of family enterprises where the family members are the only shareholders. And I want to change this, and books are a weapon which is helping me, so that I can help others and my nation.Shukriya for reading this Thought of mine.

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4 Responses

  1. aishwarya says:

    375 wives!!! I wonder if he had contributed anything to India other than children. Well to know what else he was all about i will have to read it. This review makes me feel like it must be an interesting one🙂

    • Wajid Ali Shah was an epitome of hedonism. That’s why he became oblivion not only to the people of Awadh but throughout the land of Hindustan. And thanks for Reading (:

  2. Monika Sharma says:

    Interesting facts to actually come across to.. thank you for sharing.

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