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Friday, April 04, 2014

Book Review : ‘The Treasure of Kafur’ by Aroon Raman

Wow! I can’t believe this book. It was one of the most exhilarating books, I have read in all these days. Aroon Raman, with his ‘The Treasure of Kafur’ gave me whatever I wished for when I first saw its cover, and knew I had to read it.

The book starts with a prologue, set in 1312 AD Hindustan, when it was ruled by the Mughals. It spoke of a time when Alauddin Khiljii’s trusted commander-in-chief of Hindustan’s most feared army, Malik Kafur was on his southern campaign. Here, the calls upon his men to store the treasure, which he has looted for safekeeping. 

The description is profound and gets your interest, especially when you read of what they do to each other, with the idea of keeping it safe.

Time moves on to 1580 AD, when the reader is now met with Emperor Akbar, who was thought to be, the best ruler India had ever had. He had most of Hindustan under him except for the Khandesh region, which is ruled by Asaf Baig. Baig has found out that the treasure of Kafur could be closer to him. 

An old woman Ambu and her grandson, Datta are probably its only caretakers. Baig kidnaps her but leaves Datta behind, by mistake. Now, Datta who is told of the treasure is all set to find her, with Akbar’s help. This he can do, only with the help of a tortoise, a cow, a parrot and an army of ravens, with whom he communicates telepathically. 

Using his motley crew, he finds his way into Raja Man Singh’s camp. The king is a close confidant of Akbar. Datta manages to do so, and in the process finds friends, among the king’s men, Dilawar and also, his daughter, Ahilya Bai.

When Man Singh makes his way to Akbar, Datta follows him. We are put into quite a few adventures and even superb fights with the enemy who repeatedly attempt to kidnap Datta. The story, runs to the part where Akbar is told of the story, and he sets out with Datta and Dilawar, to find Ambu and the treasure.

This is probably one of the most fascinating parts, when Akbar with his two so-called disciples get going. This part is written with an ease and a simplicity and you actually feel as if you are a part of the scene. It grips you and holds you, as you wait for the story to move forward.

The men of thataka, the supernatural element, the royalty, the birds and animals are all part of this gripping story. Brilliantly written, is this historical fantasy. Kudos to Aroon Raman. I think a second part is in the making, but whatever it is, this is a complete story.

Author: Aroon Raman
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Pan Macmillan 
ISBN: 9789382616122
Price: INR 299

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