Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Review-The Krishna Key By Ashwin Sanghi

Why did I pick this book to read?

Although I am not a fan of books belonging to mythological genre, I love reading crime/suspense/thriller books. When I read the excerpt of Krishna Key, I was intrigued and when I saw the video, I was hooked. Since I was unable to read Ashwin Sanghi’s previous book, Chanakya’s Chant, I wanted to see if Ashwin really deserved to be called as Dan Brown of India.

About the Book

When researcher Anil Varshney is killed in a gruesome manner, the needle of doubt points to his best friend, Ravi Mohan Saini. Prof. Saini must not only prove himself innocent but also solve an indecipherable puzzle of the Krishna Key. Krishna Key is the best kept secret of Lord Krishna and it can be solved by placing 4 seals belonging to the Krishna age, in a ceramic base plate. Saini’s quest to solve this cryptic puzzle is aided by his doctoral student, Priya. Priya’s father is a famous criminal lawyer and he helps Saini to escape prison. Saini must meet each of the 4 professors in whose custody Anil Varshney had left the vital seals. But unfortunately these professors are also the target of a serial killer who claims to be the tenth avatar of Krishna, the Kalki avatar. In his hunt for the Krishna Key, Saini visits historic places that were related to Krishna and his descendants; he rushes from Dwarka to the magnificent Somnath to the icy heights of Mount Kailash.

The Good

The book has been well researched and although the disclaimer states that this book is a piece of fiction, I was left wondering as I was reading the book, if Lord Krishna really did exist or was he just a mythological figure. Did the battle of Mahabharata really happen at Kurukshetra? Such is the amazing quality of Sanghi’s writing. Also every chapter starts with a snippet of Krishna’s life, which I liked; it reminded me of the Great Mahabharata that was aired on DD every Sunday. 

The Bad

Due to the fact that I had not read any of Sanghi’s previous books, I cannot compare if this book matches up to the hype created from Chankya’s Chant. But I found the book too prolonged and lengthy. I mean it’s understood that Sanghi is a history buff, but in some places he delves too much into the details and the plot slackens. More of the thriller stuff and a little less of history would have made the book more interesting.

In one chapter a similarity is drawn between the shape of the Shiv Lingam and the structure of BARC, and I don’t understand how this takes the story forward. It simply diverts the reader’s attention from the actual story. 

The verdict

Even though the book stretches unnecessarily to 464 pages, I would still recommend this book for a read because

  • The amalgamation of mythology and crime is in itself a heady mix and Sanghi does justice to the plot to a large extent. 
  •  It’s humbling to know about Indian culture and heritage and although the book maybe largely fiction, the fact remains that Indian sages and astronomers were far more intelligent than the scientists today worldwide. An ancient Indian astronomer named Aryabhatta had discovered zero for his complex astronomical calculation. The English word Geometry was derived from the Sanskrit word Jyamati. The book also suggests that the Brahmastra used as all-destructible weapon in Mahabharata was actually a nuclear device.

It boggles my mind if the possibility is even remotely true. These factors make the book a must read.

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  1. Very balanced review. Agree, at times, the details were way too much but it still was very captivating!!
    Yes, you must check out The Chanakya's Chant! I loved it!

  2. Thanks for the comments Shilpa:) And yes I am planning to read Chanakya's Chant next :)