Get a crash course on India’s ancient and greatest epic ever “The Mahabharatha” and while you are at it, uncover the myths of Krishna, ancient Indian civilizations and the origin of Hindu and Islamic cultures. Decide for yourself if India’s most loveable God really walked amongst us or was just a figment of somebodies imagination? Discover the mysteries of the frozen Mount Kailash, beautiful Somnath and currently sub-merged Dwaraka as you try to get a grip on an equally important concept – Are Vishnu and Siva two sides of the same coin? Or were Hari and Mahadev different as they are made out to be today??
“The Krishna Key” takes its readers on a quest across India to discover the secret of what Krishna, the great strategist and statesman left behind. The book starts with a catchy one pager – a note from Krishna, alluding to the fact that his clan including himself would always be king makers and never kings! So much was the impact of this one page that it I couldn’t help but turn the pages with curiosity!
The book starts with the killing of the nations famous symbologist and language expert Varshney in a way erriely familiar to the way Krishna died! A valuable seal is stolen; a seal uncovered during an excavation at Kalibangan, a town that was located on the banks of the now extinct river Saraswati. 4 such seals were excavated and left by Varshney in the safe keeping of his close friend Ravi Saini and 4 other scientists and research scholars, leaving the instructions on how to use the seals to unlock one of the worlds greatest mysteries only with Saini!
Was Varshney on to proof that Krishna had lived amongst us, finally putting to rest the theories that relegate the myth of Krishna as an exaggeration of the stories of Gods from other religions?? Or was he in search of something that had eluded the reach of greatest warriors of world civilisation till date?? Something so well hidden that it could never reach the wrong hands ever…
Saini, the last person to see his best friend alive suddenly finds himself on the run as a murder suspect along with his star Ph.D student Priya Ratani for company and inspector Radhika “sniffer” Singh close on their heels. As he tries to decode the clues of Varshney’s murder and the mysterious seals he find himself trapped in a web of gruesome killings by a killer who thinks he is the “kalki” avatar – the final avatar of Vishnu born on earth to get rid of all evil. What is worse is that the clues to the killings point to Saini as the murderer!
Will Saini discover “the Krishna key”? Who does the killer take his instructions from and what are their motives? The answer to all this and more is filled in the ample pages of this book that envelopes its readers with never-ending historical facts cleverly intertwined with fiction, complex characters and a bit of romance! Seems like none of the authors these days can leave this last part behind! It’s like having an item number in Bollywood films!
Now for my thoughts:
I can’t tell you how excited I was to receive this book to review and I was not disappointed. I have read “The Rozabal Line” by this author but was more impressed with this novel which is an absolute page turner. But then I should admit that somewhere along the line I was getting confused with all the history and research that was being thrown my way! And I couldn’t help shaking off the feeling of deja vu of reading “The Da Vinci Code” all over again!!! Ashwin Sanghi is definitely India’s answer to Dan Brown and the amount of research that gone into this book is simply awe inspiring that I wondered how it would have been possible for one person to do all this work and actually plug it in intelligently with a fictious story line….
The book is filled with facts and history of the Mahabharatha, life of Krishna, Dwaraka, the Indus Valley civilisation, the attack on India by Mughal warriors, the importance of the attack by Ghazini, the history of the Taj Mahal, crazy numerical coincidences of our culture and the breath-taking riches that once filled this majestic country.. On the flip side, I felt it was a tad too long. By the time I reached page 360 I was ready for the book to come to its logical end and by the time I reached page 420 I thought that this book would never end!! I think the book could have been a bit shorter considering the wide variety of subjects it was talking about and it ended in what I thought was a was pretty disappointing way! To put it more simply it seemed very Bolloywoodish for my senses!!
With references to the Vedas, the Bhagavata purana, the Badshahnama, persian books whose name I can’t seem to recall (A complete bibliographical reference is available at the end of the book) and research papers from archeological digs and other articles on the history of India, the book will definitely pique the interest of history buffs those who have had a secret dreams to become an archaeologist like myself 🙂 The book is also a very good source of knowledge to educate Indophiles and those interested about this nation to understand how great this country once was – no disputes here please considering that the facts have also been documented by visiting Greek scholars and other great minds who have been here even before other civilizations were born!
A worthy book that I plan to re-read sometime at a much slower pace so that I can digest more of the interesting and mysterious facts of Indian history! Do give it a go if you love historical fiction – you wont be disappointed!!