He moved her hair away, whispered smoothly in her ear “Who do you belong to?” pulling her close, almost kissing her.
“Myself” she replied “I am a slave to none”
Wandering between the chaos and cacophonies he drifted through life. Unlost yet captive. Till she waltzed into his commotion. Calmly taking charge, setting him free. All he saw was her eyes. Deep. Mysterious. He knew they were magic and was now bound. Under their spell he was lost and did not want to be found.
“This is a hundred year old bungalow madam” said the manager. She had an uncomfortable feeling as she opened the gate. It was like she had seen the place before. She turned around to talk to the manager. He wasn’t there but someone was staring at her intently from inches away. The woman looked exactly like her.
Her thoughts were like a heady cocktail of emotions for him. She overpowered his senses yet he felt in control. She took him high in passion and left him low in despair. He was ecstatic in her presence and unbearably anguished when she was gone. She made him restless, yet she was where he found tranquillity.
She walked to work like everyday. The feeling that some one was watching was stronger than most days. She wrapped her arms around tightly, holding herself together. Just as she looked behind to make sure she was alone, the wind whooshed passed suddenly, playing with her hair, whispering like it had a secret to tell.
She was sitting on the ledge having a conversation with the morning sun. A strange sensation of drifting into nothingness engulfed her. She could hear him again, calling out to her from far away. She knew she had to find him, to free him and herself. In that moment she was ready to travel any distance.
Author: Aroon Raman
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Source: Personal Copy
The story begins before the Mughal era, with a tale of Kafur, Khilji’s trusted lieutenant. The bounty that they have won after waging war in different regions has accumulated and transporting it through the desert is a dangerous prospect, as the threat of an attack is imminent. So, Kafur is instructed to hide the treasure in a place that no one can ever find it. With that the legend of the treasure of Kafur begins
It then leaps forward to the Mughal era, where Akbar is reigning over India. He is a practical, pragmatic and a visionary ruler. He has managed to get most of the country under his control. Asaf Baig of Khandesh loathes Akbar with every breath and he knows that to win the allegiance of all anti-Akbar troops, the treasure of Kafur is his key. It will make him indestructible, presenting him with the largest army. Only an old woman called Ambu knows the whereabouts of this treasure that Asaf Baig seeks, so he kidnaps her, leaving her grandson Datta alive. Datta begins a quest to find is grandmother and prevent Asaf Baig from acquiring this treasure. And only ally he can count on is Akbar.
In between the quest for the treasure, the characters are caught in a whirlpool of events which will forever change the course of their life.
This story has fiction and fact, with a layer a fantasy over it. The book, as the author mentions, is partly true when concerning the facts. The treasure itself is a fact of history. Akbar’s character is kept true, and details such as his marriage to Jodha and his illiteracy are true, as are the threats from Khandesh. Each character is well etched out and nicely detailed.
The author Aroon Raman’s first book The Shadow Throne, is a national best seller. He is a Bengaluru based entrepreneur. His research and innovation company works in the area of materials science and has won critical acclaim for developing scientific talent at the grass-roots level. He divides his spare time between trekking, advising and supporting NGOs and travel.
The Treasure of Kafur is a perfect blend of history and mystery, with adventure added to taste. Makes a good weekend read.
She always had that about her, that look of otherness, of eyes that see things much too far, and of thoughts that wander off the edge of the world when she wrote. She wrote because she needed to write, because she hoped someone will listen or because writing will mend something broken inside her or bring something back to life. She was stubborn, she was wise. She was immoderate and volatile. She spoke through her eyes, and mostly wore a disguise.