University of Jammu, India
The Feast of Roses (2003) is a sequel to the first novel The Twentieth Wife (2002) written by a historical fiction writer Indu Sundaresan. The book describes the journey of Mehrunnisa when she becomes an empress (NurJahan), the twentieth wife of Jahangir. She challenges men and women who serve as embodiments of the patriarchal system, and tries to break away from stereotypes of passivity, docility and oppression which men link to women as natural and universal. The paper, through the character of NurJahan, highlights various problems that a woman comes across when she acquires power equal to that of men. It further elucidates the experience of a woman when she transcends the boundaries embarked by the patriarchy and asserts her existence as an independent woman. NurJahan, who fretted about life’s absurdities, with a few resources to change them in The Twentieth Wife, finds full expression to her character and personality in The Feast of Roses.
Keywords: Feminism, Stereotypes, Patriarchy, Identity, Power and Mughal females.