Book- The Patriarch
Posted on May 25th, 2013

 Pravin Banker Greenwich, CT., USA

Dear All Sri Lankans

I was born in Srilanka when it was called Ceylon before migrating to the USA by chance. I would like to inform readers that my first in a series of four books has just been released by Amazon and is available globally on its website under Amazon books/The Patriarch by Pravin Banker. It is also available through the website  A summary of the back cover, author description, and an inside look is posted. The hero is a youth born in Surat to a Family of Shah. The setting is India at the end of the Eighteenth Century. Buried within the story are revelations heretofore unknown. For example, the book addresses the question why a small, purely mercantilist sea faring nation sailed half across the world to India/Ceylon and how it managed to engineer the conquest of an empire 20 times its size in just a few years…

 The late Eighteenth Century was a humbling time for King George.

Following the loss of its Colonies in America, and under pressure in Continental Europe from Napoleon Bonaparte, the British Prime Minister Pitt hatched a plot to venture forth. With the connivance of the Duke of York, Pitt’s government used the private East India Company and the then little known Wellesley family as the instrument. The objective was to drive the French out of India and to deprive Napoleon access to its wealth. Rumors of the gold, silver, and precious stones in Baroda, Hyderabad, and Mysore, having already reached Europe, hordes of Arabs and European soldiers-of-fortune were already flocking to India to serve the Rajahs.

 To succeed in this daring venture against great odds, the youngest member of the Wellesley clan Arthur, recruits a youth barely seventeen years of age. By a stroke of good fortune he discovers that this youth is the oldest son of the House of Shah; a family of traders with two enviable assets –alliances with the ruling Rajahs that held sway over the Maratha kingdoms that the British wished to usurp, and control over a disciplined crew of goondas (bandits), skilled in guerilla warfare and able to flit in and out of an enemy camp unnoticed — essential in subversion and espionage. Soon after arriving in India as the British Viceroy, Richard Wellesley, Lord Mornington, decides to go for the jugular by adopting a strategy of “Divide, Usurp, and Conquer”. His target is the various Maratha Kingdoms which controlled over 65% of the Empire that was India. Arthur Wellesley goes on to defeat Napoleon at Waterloo and become the Duke of Wellington. The youth follows his karma to establish the first merchant banking house in India as its Patriarch.

 The reader is guided by a Map of India, a Calendar of Events, and Sage Quotes from across the Centuries, each quote having relevance within the story, from “the moving finger having writ” by Omar Khayyam in the 12th Century, to “there is a tide in the affairs of men” by Shakespeare in his play Caesar in the 17th Century. The story begins with the Duke of Wellington reminiscing at Apsley House in London; quickly moves on to a pigeon carrying an ominous message over 400 miles to its home in Surat demanding a “life for a life”, an execution of two Pindari bandits in a marketplace, and a jailbreak of a prince under sentence of death in a Fort in Nagpur, 400 miles East of Surat.

 The story is an action adventure. It includes the Dance of Shiva, which was used to convey the Maharajah Scindia of Gwalior’s response to Wellesley’s ultimatum –War or Peace. It culminates in the Battle of Assaye, the greatest battle that Wellington ever fought, against an enemy five times his size, and a battle in which he escapes death miraculously by a hair’s breath, not once, but twice, saved by the timely action of a youth. It is currently being circulated to independent Film Directors.

 I sincerely hope you find this desciption fascinating, and the book interesting and exciting. British involvement and control for over 140 years, from 1803 to 1947, is an integral part of India’s heritage, regardless of the merits.

 Pravin Banker

Greenwich, CT., USA

 Book Two … “The Sinai Conspiracy”…  scheduled to be out in the Fall of 2013.. begins with a ship sailing from Colombo harbour in the midst of a hurricane.

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