Monday, May 20, 2019

Book Review: Ba’az of the Bengal Lancers by Uttiyo Bhattacharya

Title: Ba’az of the Bengal Lancers

Author: Uttiyo Bhattacharya

Publisher: Juggernaut

Uttiyo Bhattacharya’s “Ba’az of the Bengal Lancers,” set against the backdrop of the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857, is in essence the story of a huge treasure and the chase for it. Cloaks, daggers, and hidden messages abound in this potboiler.
Following the death of the last Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar, Bayaz-ud-din Waris Ali Khan Bungalee of Hodson’s Ghost-Scouts becomes the sole guardian of a priceless treasure. Unsure of what to do with this treasure, Ba’az leaves behind traces and clues for those brave enough to find it. 
Several decades later, a young architect—the unnamed narrator and second protagonist of the novel—stumbles upon this secret. He decides to chase history, thereby discovering the lost treasure. The story follows his quest for this timeless treasure. While his friend Jami’s Dada-jaan becomes his first source in this quest, it is the encoded diaries belonging to Ba’az that invariably prove the most helpful.

Bhattacharya graphically recounts the happenings of 1857 through a medley of real and fictional characters. He borrows heavily from all of literature to spin this page-turner of his. While the story itself reminds one of the movie National Treasure, the description of pre-independent India evokes before one’s eyes scenes from Thugs of Hindostan. Even in characterization, his Dost Akbar, Iqbal, and Abdullah are reminiscent of Athos, Porthos, and Aramis from The Three Musketeers. But the sincerity in the author’s voice is what makes the book interesting.

A well told tale of exploration in which history is the MacGuffin.

Uttiyo Bhattacharya is an architect, writer and design producer. He has worked on theatrical productions as an actor, on museum and cultural projects as design manager and on classified military installations across geographies as architect of record. Ba’az of the Bengal Lancers is his first novel.

I'd like to thank the publisher for letting me review the book. I do hope you end up liking the book when you read it. Thank you so much for stopping by, and happy reading!

* I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

** Picture courtesy:, Twitter

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