Details of the Book
No. of Pages : 432 pages
ISBN : 9352644123 (ISBN13: 9789352644124)
Language : English
From the book blurb
Why do they call you Baaz?
It means falcon, he replies solemnly. Or bird of prey. Because I swoop down on the enemy planes just like a Baaz would.
Then he grins. The grey eyes sparkle.
It s also short for bastard.
1971. The USSR-backed India-Mukti Bahini alliance is on the brink of war against the America-aided Pakistani forces. As the Cold War threatens to turn red hot, handsome, laughing Ishaan Faujdaar, a farm boy from Chakkahera, Haryana, is elated to be in the IAF, flying the Gnat, a tiny fighter plane nicknamed Sabre Slayer for the devastation it has wrecked in the ranks of Pakistan s F-86 Sabre Squadrons.
Flanked by his buddies Raks, a MiG-21 Fighter, Maddy, a transport pilot who flies a Caribou, and fellow Gnatties Jana, Gana and Mana, Shaanu has nothing on his mind but glory and adventure until he encounters Tehmina Dadyseth, famed bathing beauty and sister of a dead fauji, who makes him question the very concept of nationalism and whose eyes fill with disillusioned scorn whenever people wax eloquent about patriotism and war...
Pulsating with love, laughter and courage, Baaz is Anuja Chauhan's tribute to our men in uniform.
Anuja Chauhan went to school in Meerut, Delhi and Australia. She has worked in advertising for over fourteen years and has created many popular ad campaigns, including 'Nothing Official About it', 'Yeh Dil Maange More' and 'Oye Bubbly' for brand Pepsi. She worked in the advertising agency, JWT India, for over 17 years, eventually becoming vice-president and executive creative director, before resigning in 2010 to pursue a full-time literary career.
She has written 4 novels, The Zoya Factor (2008), Battle For Bittora (2010), Those Pricey Thakur Girls (2013) and The House That BJ Built (2015).
What I think
First of all, the title is intriguing. It is sure to arouse the reader’s curiosity. Secondly, the book cover has this young IAF officer wearing cute uniform and aviator glasses against the backdrop of aircrafts. It gives away the plot of the books and rightly sets the floor!
Baaz is about Ishaan Faujdaar aka Baaz as he is fondly referred to by his course mates and batch mates of 1968. He is a flying officer who doesn’t know what fear means. As a character and protagonist we get to know him when he is as less as ten years old. Instantly, we fall in love. There is something very sweet and endearing about him. His thoughts are often progressive which we rarely get to see eve in the minds of today’s youth. And that’s it, he strikes a chord with the readers. Tehmina Dadyseth aka Tinka as a pacifist who believes that there is nothing good or fair war is a rebel and highly opinionated. Her straightforwardness and boldness will surely leave you awestruck. Raka’s shyness and Maddy’s quirkiness… fellow Gnatties Jana, Gana and Mana… ever enthusiastic, daring and challenging Mr. Carvalho… sassy and suave Kung Fei… Chimman’s selfishness, Sneha’s naivety, caring Juhi among many others are equally interesting and relatable.
As you could see, the book is loaded with interesting characters and all the credit goes to the author for painstakingly establishing them. Although the book is pretty heavy sided with as much as 430 pages, it is a delight to turn pages and go through the lives and minds of these characters. More so for being historically more or less accurate.
Also, the author has subtly hinted many relevant topics like women’s education/empowerment, dowry system, patriarchy, effect of war and other political stances on common man psychological influence of war on soldiers as well as their family, and so on. Baaz surely soars high on sky with these aspects!
How can I not talk about the sparkling chemistry between Baaz and Tinka? It is so pure and refreshing. Together they make us believe in the magic of love; their differences drawing them closer to each other and making them just two sides of the same coin.
In short, don’t miss this one!
If you do, you will never get to know the grey eyed boy from a village in Haryana who likes the dhook-dhook-dhooking of heart... Whose smile and charm will also make our heart do dhook-dhook-dhooking.
As the book claims, this indeed is a perfect tribute to the Fauji. This will surely make you sit back and think, change your perspectives and urge you to do some research on what happened back in 1971.
So what are you waiting for?
Time to fall in love with Baaz… Ishaan… And Anuja Chauhan, of course! Because when she writes, we read word by word and flip page after page!
4.75/5 (Well, I want to give a 5 on 5. But reducing the 0.25 for making readers sob uncontrollably. How could you, author? So mean!!!)
PS: Anuja Chauhan, keep writing! J You are awesome!!!!
PPS: In page no. 200, I am sure dear author/editor, you meant Tinka and not Tinak!!! It’s a small typo, but still – you know!
PPPS: Thanks to my cousin who introduced me to Anuja Chauhan several years before. Incidentally, I started reading Indian author books after reading Zoya Factor and Chetan Bhagat’s Five Point Someone of course J J