Title: The Treasure of Kafur
Author: Aroon Raman,
Most Indian Historic novels are rooted in the Mogul history. At the most they stories from the Rajput kitty. Other kingdoms and their stories are forgotten.
The kings, their Hindu subjects, are acknowledged the Jains and Buddhists forming other communities of the secular pre-raj India remain vastly forgotten. Knowingly or unknowingly Aroon Raman has evoked the memory of a forgotten secular pre-mogul, pre-British India. Where Buddhism and Jainism were religions to reckon with and not mere appendages of Hinduism. The protagonist is deeply inspired by the Buddha.
Here is a writer that acknowledges that there were kingdoms south of Vindhya’s that were rich, vibrant and looted by kings before the Moguls.
The story opens with a prologue of Malik Kafur looting the south hiding the cache for a future date in the forest of Jetavana; this is observed by a Tortoise.
The current story is the story of Datta, the last keeper of the secret of the treasure of Malik Kafur, who learns this from his grandmother Ambu. The wealth is coveted by Baig, for it would fund his army against Akbar.
The author claims this is a piece of fiction supported by research for the characters, which is pretty evident in Mann Singh the Rajput vassal of Akbar, Rana Pratap, Inayat Khan, his son Dilawar the Taarak Tantric, all from the Mogul period. The author Aroon has set the story against the back drop of Asif Baig trying to wrench the Kingdom from Akbar.
The hero Datta has empathy with birds and can communicate with them as he can with the animals, he is the child of nature. This is presented in such a matter of fact way, it is refreshing. His friendship with the Dilawar the son of Inayat Khan and the Princess of Amber very beautifully brought out.
Sheherzade the exotic bird guide gifted by the Sufi saint Aulia. Emperor Akbar is here is a listener, wise, street smart, adventure seeker and risk taker.
The book is well written fast paced clean language with just the required amount of spice without being a boring gossiping narrative. A definite skill that I would like to acknowledge in Aroon, which I have experienced in very few contemporary writers is, his ability to ensure that the visual created is on par with the era that they are talking about. This is that something that takes him out of the platform of mundane to the cadre of Indu Sundaresan, Anand Neelakantan, Krishna Udayshankar, and Ashwin Sanghi. Please note that Amish Tripati is not included in this elite.
Definitely enjoyed book and looking forward to more from this author.
About the author:Aroon Raman is a Bengaluru based author, his research and innovation company works in material science he has won critical acclaim for developing scientific talent in the grass root level. To know more please visit http://www.aroonraman.com