Friday, September 21, 2012

Book Review: The Krishna Key by Ashwin Sanghi


I have read Chanakya’s Chant by Ashwin Sanghi and loved the way the inter-play between the past and the present was narrated. In The Krishna Key, the author again uses the same style beautifully and puts in front of us a brilliant masterpiece.

The author’s style of writing is free-flowing and the narrative effortlessly moves back and forth. The book is a definite page-turner and keeps you engrossed until the very last page because of its numerous twists and turns. Without revealing too much about the plot, the way the author moves across different geographic regions and weaves them into the story is wonderful.

One gets a sense of reading Dan Brown because of the fact that Ashwin has also written about mythology and connected it to events in the present scenario. However, the interesting fact with this book, unlike Chanakya’s Chant, is that this book also has science, history, geography, linguistics and geometry to accompany mythology. The author has done immense research in each of the different subjects listed above and it shows in the way these are built into the story without appearing out of place. Also, the author uses Sanskrit shlokas to emphasize certain points and the book has some wonderful pictures/diagrams/maps which assist in taking the story forward as also providing us a visual explanation.

Ashwin has developed a good understanding of the topic at hand and has explained it lucidly in the book. While reading the book, I kept making a list of topics that I would want to read about further; that is the kind of interest the book is able to generate.

The characters of the protagonist and all the others are beautifully etched and it is easy to picture them while reading the book. The author uses very vivid words to describe each of his characters, including their education, family background, current occupations, etc. so that it is easy to get into their mind and understand why they are doing what they are doing. Some of the locations in the story are described so wonderfully that one feels like dropping everything and just visiting those places.

The only negative for me in the book was that there are so many characters and sub-plots that one gets confused and often needs to go back again to connect the dots. However, that is a minor flaw, in an otherwise gem of a book. I am sure that as a result of the book, a lot of us would get to know a lot about Lord Krishna. We only know that he was quite playful and mischievous and, of course, the fact that he was a mentor to Arjuna during the war. However, we barely know anything about his family or what kind of a ruler he was. This book would change all that. For me, personally, since my family deity is Devaki-Krishna, the book made for a compelling read.

The book would also make us appreciate the fact that we only need to believe in something to turn it into reality. Ashwin puts it beautifully when he says, “By simply believing that their lives could be transformed, they succeeded in converting their thoughts to reality.”

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who would enjoy a fast-paced thriller with the added attraction of getting under the skin of a mythological figure while, at the same time, questioning some of our beliefs pertaining to history.

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The Krishna KeyThe Krishna Key by Ashwin Sanghi