How Lakshmibai became Rani of Jhansi: Read an excerpt from Moupia Basu's book, The Queen's Last Salute
The people of Jhansee [Jhansi] loved Maharani Lakshmibai and the few liberties she took even as a widow were either ignored or forgiven by everyone. She would walk into the durbar brisk and confident, flashing her sunny smile. She was neither shy nor diffident. In her bid to take on the guardianship of the state of Jhansee, she had cast away the stereotypical notions of her gender. But Chandraki was not too happy about it. She was now a familiar figure beside the queen. The queen often shared her worries and problems with her. Chandraki was always around if Lakshmibai needed something to be done, be it running errands, carrying messages, or looking after the prince while the queen addressed matters of the court. She often helped the queen dress up for special events, and on those occasions, Chandraki would insist that Lakshmibai dress more as a queen and less as a . . .