Treasure Hunt in History
Author and entrepreneur Aroon Raman is a self-confessed history buff who had some really good history teachers in school. “And the interest grew over time. Though I ended up doing other things, history was always at the back of my mind,” says the author, who feverishly went through historical fiction such as Kalki’s Ponniyin Selvan. And, that interest is perhaps what led him to write his second book, The Treasure of Kafur (ToK) — an intriguing story about Mughal emperor Akbar and a legendary lost treasure.
Raman will be in the city today for the launch and discussion of The Treasure of Kafur, which went on sale in December 2013.
“This is actually my first book. It was in the writing stage for nearly seven years, done under severe preoccupation as I was too busy with my working life. I sold my business in 2007, but I got an opportunity to write another book,” he says.
That other book turned out to be The Shadow Throne, the success of which got even the author pleasantly surprised. But once that was done, he turned his attention to ToK again.
“I’ve always been fascinated by Indian, especially Mughal history. The 250 years of Mughal reign in India is quite fascinating. And, the best part is they actually have extensive documentation of the period,” says Raman, excitedly.
And Akbar’s period was most documented of all, adds the author who is fascinated with the Mughal Emperor. “He was such an unorthodox man — which emperor would have thought about marrying a Rajput princess?” he says.
ToK is completely different from his first book, which was about nuclear weapons and a fictional Armageddon. But at the heart of it, Raman says the issues in both books are the same. “Essentially, the politics are the same, they are still fighting for the borders. Only the time is different,” he says.
For today’s discussion, the author is planning to pick out certain instances from the Mughal era to relay to his audience. “I’m going to call it Magic and Murder in Mughal India,” he says, laughing. “We have so many interesting incidents and anecdotes from our history, but all of them are buried deep inside boring textbooks. I’m going to highlight a couple of thrilling incidents that happened in Mughal India and juxtapose them against ToK. I will be telling a nice little story,” he says.
As for his next book, Raman is going back to his first book, nuclear weapons, et al. “I’m just coming up with the plot, so I’ll get started on writing it soon,” he says.
Aroon Raman will be in discussion about The Treasure of Kafur at the Starmark bookstore, Express Avenue, from 5 pm to 7 pm today. The book is published by Pan Macmillian.