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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Post 14: Book Review 11: The Krishna Key by Ashwin Sanghi

First of all i would like to thank BlogAdda for selecting my blog for the review of this book, especially it being written by one of my favourite Indian authors "Aswin Sanghi". Being a great fan and great recommender of Chanakya's Chant, i was really looking forward to this book.

The first look of the book as i wrote about in the earlier post about the Delhi book launch and dicussion session with the author, that it resenbles Dan Brown's "The Lost Symbol". I however was looking forward to the parallels that Ashwin Sanghi is famous for, proved undisputabily in his last book "Chanakyas Chant" but this book was more or written in a Dan Brown style, which i really wish wouldnt have been so.

The story is about the quest for "The Krishna Key", a secret that lies buried through ancient times. It begins with the murder of a leading archeologist Anil Varshney, in Dan Brown style (with the assasin stamping a seal on his head and painting a sanskrit shloka, Remember the Vitruvian man murder) as he discovers four seals which were relics of lord Krishnas kingdom, hence disproving that Krishna is a myth. However of greater ineterest is a fact that it has no hole within them but are further a part of a set, that consists of a plate that fits them. Anil Varshney is clever to have taken possession of the plate, however aware of the dangers he locks the plate in a safety vault and gives the coins to four different people who are his best friends. Little do they know that the reason is they all belong to the same Yadava clan,, the discendents of Lord Krishna . I am confused here as to why being the cleverest he just doesnt get a team of friends to work on this rather than distributing it amongst people. Fortunately beofre his murder he had shared all the information with his friend Ravi Mohan Saini, a smart, dynamic professor of Mythology (i would say the parallel of Robert Langdon, however Langdon is unbeatbly more charming).  Unfortunately since he is also the last person to visit the victim Anil Varshney, Saini is arrested by police. His doctorate student Priya being a daughter of the best criminal lawyer helps him get out of prison in a quest to alert the other bearers of the seal and locate the secret that lies in The Krishna Key. 

The murderer is a strong character "Taraak Vakil" as he is made to believe and trained to be a Kalaki Avatar. He has all the signatures of the same, parents with the prophesized name, born in the predicted village also a white horse as is the most popular myth. So then begins chain of murders very cleverly planned, parallel to Saini meeting each of the seal bearers and thus him being a suspect and killer on the loose. He manages to be on the run with is PhD student Priya. The story of  Krishna goes parallely along with the hunt, which however doesnt seem to be of any significance till the end. The beginning is very interesting as one learns a lot about the quest to establish signatures of our History and Mythology by finding Dwarka, various proofs, however as the story advances it becomes too much information to handle. However i must say hatts-off to the author for research and dwelling so deep into a lot of aspects.  The powerful religious fanatics and masterminds are revealed along the story and at most points its highly predictible Dan Brown plot. What happens ahead? What is The Krishna Key? Who gets it? These questions keep you glued. The book is a philosophical take on the quest, people with such mind set will appreciate the end others may not. Beauty afterall lies in the eyes and the mind of the beholder.

The Review!!!
Positive: Exhaustive research! I can bet Ashwin Sanghi is one of the most well researched authors of this country at present.

Negative: An over burden of analogies and information. The life of Lord Krishna running parallely is of a little use, however the author gets the benefit of doubt that a reader alien to Krishna can understand the story. Please be original!I would have loved the Ashwin Sanghi touch not a copy of Dan Brown!!! There is a lot of scope in the outline of the concept.

The Verdict!!! Read for the love of mythology.

About The Author
Ashwin Sanghi is one of the well known writers in the Indian literary scene, and an author of thriller fiction. He shot to fame through his first release, The Rozabal Line. His books are characterized by extensive research, and they're fast paced political or historical thrillers.
Sanghi's first novel, The Rozabal Line, was self-published in 2007 under his pseudonym, Shawn Haigins. The theological thriller based upon the theory that Jesus died in Kashmir was subsequently published by Westland in 2008 in India under his own name and went on to become a bestseller, remaining on national bestseller lists for several months. His second novel, Chanakya's Chant, a political thriller with roots in ancient Mauryan history, shot to the top of almost every bestseller list in India within a few weeks of its launch. The novel went on to win the Crossword-Vodafone Popular Choice Award 2010, film producer UTV acquired the movie rights to the book and the book remained on AC Nielsen's Top-10 throughout 2011-12. The Krishna Key, Sanghi's third novel, is a furiously-paced and riveting thriller that explores the ancient secrets of the Vedic age and the Mahabharata.
Ashwin is an entrepreneur by profession but writing historical fiction in the thriller genre is his passion and hobby. Ashwin was educated at the Cathedral & John Connon School, Mumbai, and St Xavier's College, Mumbai. He holds a masters degree from Yale and is working towards a Ph.D. in Creative Writing. Ashwin lives in Mumbai with his wife, Anushika, and his son, Raghuvir.

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