Indian contemporary novelist Anuja Chauhan is quite popular among Indian readers for writing light-hearted romance. Well, with ‘Baaz’ she was up to something else, probably a foray into serious, intense, war-fiction literature. Unlike her previous novels ‘The Zoya Factor’ and ‘Battle for Bittora’, this book is different in theme, orientation, and backdrop, because of a male protagonist. Yes! Readers won’t be bereaved of romance; it too has the lightness of romance in patches. Baaz is more serious in its façade, since the story will take you back to 1971 when Pakistan was fighting to take over Bangladesh and India interfered to its rescue.
Ishaan hails from a small village in Haryana, like any other typical village boy he loved watching passing by trains. From there he grows up to become an officer in IAF. While serving his country as a fearless pilot, he develops deep bonding with two more officers Maddy and Raka. They three form an inseparable kind of bonding and friendship. Being fearless gives Ishaan a much favoured nickname: Baaz, means eagle. Thank God he is not the David of ‘Eagle in the Sky’ by Wilbur Smith.
Ishaan is a patriot kind of personality; he wants to do something for his country; he wants to bask in the glory of war. However, twists and turns begin appearing in the picture when Tehmina Dadyseth, a peace loving and bold girl, encounters the to-be-love of her life Ishaan. From here onwards, you can begin guessing the story. After a good start, it begins stalling like a raven. High on drama factor and other factors, Baaz by Anuja is everything but a class. The language is not up to date, usage of Hinglish words debilitate the charm of the book. Talking about research, as the author belongs to army background and being grown in Regiments and Centers, she had all the nuts and bolts that go around the fighter planes and the fighting army tanks. The book is half war fiction, part romantic. Well, one single genre could have been a much better decision.