Ruchir Gupta

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1658: Prince Aurengzeb of India has imprisoned his own father, murdered his brothers, seized the throne of Delhi and declared himself Emperor. He immediately begins a reign of tyranny, invading neighbours, banning music and the arts, destroying temples and churches, and unleashing terror on a vast kingdom comprising a fifth of the world's humanity.

During this time his own beloved daughter, Zebunissa, forms a secret poetic society called the Makhfi (Hidden One) in Persian. Through this society she practices the arts secretly and plans rebellions to overthrow her demonic father and restore justice in the kingdom. Bestowed the title of Princess of India and then Empress of India, she dupes her father and his vicious nobles in a courageous and dangerous attempt to save her people from the Emperor’s tyranny.

Part fiction and part history, The Hidden One brings a tear to the eye while thrilling the heart as we witness 17th century India through the eyes of an unsuspected character – a Muslim princess. It narrates the powerful story of Zebunissa, and the Makhfi – the secret society that has been lost over time but deserves its rightful place in history for its role during one of India’s darkest eras. Available historical data has been analyzed to bring to light this obscure group about which very little has thus far been written or known. An unforgettable cast of characters and progression of fateful events.

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