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September 26, 2012 / subramanyam

The Krishna Key :: My Take.

          Writing fiction is definitely a challenge, writing historical fiction is invariably complex and very tough. Now, if you want to create a historical-mythological fiction, add a conspiracy to it and then attempt to  change the outlook of the reader towards history, the challenge in front of you is simply humongous.  In his latest book “The Krishna Key” Ashwin Sanghi  attempted this, and to me, he did a pretty decent job of it.

          The reason why I hold authors who create historical-mythological-fiction in high-esteem is because of the amount of research the author has to do. While investing time in good research benefits any author, quality research helps him give insightful 

Ashwin sanghi’s The Krishna Key

 arguments rather than shallow claims about history.  The quality or say superior research enhances the reading experience of the user and wins more credibility and respect for the author.  In this case, Ashwin Sanghi’s  research has been remarkable and I think it was on the basis of this research that he could question the notions of some of the modern day historians on the life and times of Lord Shri Krishna.

           Coming to the book, there are 2 stories that run in parallel with each other and are separated by over a 5 thousand years in time.  While the first speaks about Shri Krishna and the Mahabharata, the second one is in the contemporary world where a person believes he is the latest re-incarnation of the God and will be helping himself into an abyss rather gently.  The story is fast paced and is a treat for people who love reading conspiracies. The reader travels from the hot and arid places in Kalibangan – to shores of Dwaraka  —to— the hilly areas of Afghanistan and from there –to– the abode of Mount Kailash and from there to the wonderful Somnath and  back to the plains of U.P. while reading the book.   If you think the journey was a  long one, behold, you have got read about radio activity, cloning, history and mythology ,  each one from a different perspective though.

           As they say , “Impressions once created are very very difficult to erase”  I can never stop myself from drawing parallels between Ashwin Sanghi and Dan Brown. As  I mentioned in my review of Rozabal line, I always look at Ashwin Sanghi as Indian Dan Brown and keep looking for parallels.  In the Krishna Key the parallels are very hard to ignore. The book opens with a murder, a very valuable thing is stolen, there is a text written beside the dead body, a professor is wrongly framed by the police and a female student tries to help him. Together, they need to solve a historical-mythological puzzle.  Now please let me know if this did not make you remember one of the Dan Brown’s thrillers.  For me , Ashwin Sanghi remains the Dan Brown of India.  

           As the story happens in India and happens with an Indian context around it, as the story touches a lot of stuff our generation has  learnt from  parents/ grand parents while growing up. The book is definitely fascinating for an Indian reader.  The pace of the story is good,  the symbols used to support the stuff told makes the reading experience a rejoicing one.  The amount of research that’s done and the new facts given in the book will make you consult your good old friend Google quite a number of times (just to get check if the facts are correct).

           Coming to the areas where I did not like the book, it was the ending. I felt that the ending was a little too lame, after going through volumes of research we end up in a place where the protagonist stops moving further and speaks philosophy.  Somehow I did not like it.  The second one again is the dry area in book from the 70th page or so till the 170th page, there were simply many many facts that were being thrown and I was like fighting a feeling to put the book down.  However,  after that the book picks up pace and is a page turner.  At times I was feeling that the amount of facts presented in the book might actually harm it, the reader would be bogged down like my goodness, I am loosing track. These are the gaps that might affect the response for the book. I still feel Ashwin did a good job in Chanakya’s Chant than in this one.

          All in all a good read, a safe 4 out of 5.  Definitely worth a purchase and I assure it is a good read for any Indian reader. See, while the ancient cultures  in Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece and Rome have been obliterated, the culture of the Indus valley civilization is still there in this country. We have somehow preserved most of the practices. This book,  if anything is a fact filled fiction in Dan Brown’s genre about our ancestors, hence it is definitely worth reading . Do pick it up when you have time .  I am sure you will enjoy it and even might want to re-read it.

             This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!

One Comment

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  1. bsaikrishna / Sep 26 2012 11:38 am

    Nice review.
    Will definitely pick this book…


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