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The Teenage Diary of Rani Laxmibai


Nominated | Book Awards 2021 | Writings for Young Adults

The Teenage Diary of Rani Laxmibai

A fascinating blend of history and fiction that gives us a glimpse into the teenage years of Laxmibai, the remarkable warrior-queen of Jhansi.

Full Title: The Teenage Diary of Rani Laxmibai

Author: Tanushree Podder
Publisher: Speaking Tiger Publishing

Award Category: Writings for Young Adults
About the Book: 

Manikarnika, a poor priest’s daughter, grew up in the small town of Bithoor, at the court of the exiled Peshwa of Poona. Brave, spirited and highly intelligent, she went on to become Rani Laxmibai, the legendary warrior-queen of Jhansi.

In this fictional diary, we find out about Manikarnika’s eventful teenage years, and how she went from being an ordinary girl to a proud and fearless leader. She writes about her training in horse-riding, sword-fighting and other physical arts that made her stronger and fitter than most boys. She excels in her studies, and knows how to speak her mind. At the age of thirteen, when she is married to Gangadhar Rao, the much-older king of Jhansi, she embraces the role of a queen. Clever and determined, she begins to rule Jhansi alongside the king. But when, in 1847, the British start hatching plans to take over the kingdom, Laxmibai knows she will have to fight for all that she holds beloved.

A gripping blend of history and fiction, this book is a fascinating and inspiring portrait of the young Laxmibai, the extraordinary statesperson and fighter whom India has never forgotten.

About the Author: 

Born in New Delhi, Tanushree Podder worked in the corporate sector for eight years before she quit to start writing. A well-known travel writer and novelist, climate change and environment are of special interest to her.

She has written nine novels. Among her books are Nur Jahan’s Daughter, Boots Belts Berets, On the Double, Escape from Harem, A Closetful of Skeletons, Before You Breathe and No Margin for Error. Her book Decoding the Feronia Files is the first Indian cli-fi thriller.

Two of her books, Boots Belts Berets and On the Double have been acquired for adaptation into web series.


‘Manikarnika, what are your views about women warriors?’ Tatya Dikshit wanted to know.

‘I agree with what our respected Peshwa Saheb has said. Women can do everything and they can do it better than men,’ I replied boldly.

‘Do you also agree that they can fight the firangis?’

‘Yes, women can fight the firangis. We can do everything to defend the motherland.’ The frown on my father’s face made me realize that I had raised my voice.

‘That’s a very interesting viewpoint,’ nodded Tatya Dikshit. ‘Supposing you had to fight the firangis one day, how would you go about it?’

Although he seemed quite serious, it was difficult to determine if he was trying to make fun of me. I didn’t care. It was a subject close to my heart and the men in the hall had managed to annoy me with their low opinion about women, so I continued to speak. ‘I would train girls and organize an army of women warriors. We would be ready to go to battle with the enemy anytime.’

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