The Krishna Key by Ashwin Sanghi
(bestselling author of The Rozabal Line and Chanakya’s Chant)
Price: Rs 250/- (in 2012)
First, let us look at what the book says on the back cover:
Five thousand years ago, there came to earth a magical being called Krishna, who brought about innumerable miracles for the good of mankind. Humanity despaired of its fate if the Blue God were to die but was reassured that he would return in a fresh avatar when needed in the eventual Dark Age—the Kaliyug. In modern times, a poor little rich boy grows up believing that he is that final avatar. Only, he is a serial killer.
In this heart-stopping tale, the arrival of a murderer who executes his gruesome and brilliantly thought-out schemes in the name of God is the first clue to a sinister conspiracy to expose an ancient secret—Krishna’s priceless legacy to mankind.
Historian Ravi Mohan Saini must breathlessly dash from the submerged remains of Dwarka and the mysterious lingam of Somnath to the icy heights of Mount Kailash, in a quest to discover the cryptic location of Krishna’s most prized possession. From the sand-washed ruins of Kalibangan to a Vrindavan temple destroyed by Aurangzeb, Saini must also delve into antiquity to prevent a gross miscarriage of justice. Ashwin Sanghi brings you yet another exhaustively researched whopper of a plot, while providing an incredible alternative interpretation of the Vedic Age that will be relished by conspiracy buffs and thriller-addicts alike.
For me, the book did not quite live up to that description.
The story revolves around four scientists who are also friends, a tough police officer, a Don (mafia style), a lawyer, his daughter and various other characters. Oh wait, I loved Rathore, the police officer’s deputy, who just did his job. The conjecture is that Krishna
, the eighth avatar of Vishnu
, is not a mythological character, but someone who existed 5000 years ago. Efforts are on to unearth the beautiful city of Dwarka
built by Krishna. In the meantime, an ancient seal has been found which is believed to unlock a very valuable treasure, left behind by Krishna, which is priceless.
The book begins very promisingly with a murder and I really expected it to race ahead. It did not.
Prof Saini, the deceased’s friend, has been framed for the murder and must now set about proving he did not. While on the run, the story unfolds, meandering on and off to give us glimpses into the various characters’ lives and why they are the way they are, while the prof delivers a series of history lessons. He talks about the Vedic Age, delves into the importance of the sacred number “108” and connects it with a whole lot of incidents regardless of geographic boundaries, theorizes that Mount Kailash, the abode of Shiva is actually a man made structure, that Shiv and Vish are two sides of the same coin, and various other concepts which I enjoyed reading, being sort of a history and mythology buff. References are made to the Philosopher’s Stone. Many parts of the book seemed very non-fiction – and the story was forcibly woven into the historian’s ramblings.
I got my cheap thrills reading this from Page 22: “Forty-three years old, Radhika Singh had the body of a Rajput warrior queen but the analytical mind of a Tamil engineer.” Hmm. Nice. Very nice.
The book reminds one of Dan Brown’s
books – but only because of the concept. I must confess that The Da Vinci Code
was an edge of the seat read and fast paced, while this was not. But then this is not a comparison between the two books – this is a review of The Krishna Key. I had heard so much about Ashwin Sanghi’s other books that I was very eager to read this.
Though I enjoyed reading, for the umpteenth time, the ongoing story of Krishna (narrated by himself – who doesn’t love the Bhagvad Gita
?) at the beginning of each chapter, there were moments when I did not see the relevance. But I liked the author’s idea of connecting the events in the epics with the current story line.
I was very disappointed about Taarak Vakil’s character which started out so promisingly and just fizzled off. He was simply the stooge of Priya Ratnani, the History student/teacher turned villain, who decides to create Kalki, the tenth avatar of Vishnu.
While the book was a good read, I thought it was somewhat long drawn out on the explanations – and even if one were familiar with Hindu Mythology, it did drag in places.
I must admit I liked the women characters in the book – Priya Ratnani and Radhika Singh – determined women who simply focus on what they want to do.
I rather liked the way the book ended, too. No – not telling what it is! Did they succeed in cracking the mystery of the Krishna Key? You will have to read the book and find out.
Sanghi has done his research. Lots of it. Exhaustive. That takes effort.I appreciate it.
Will I read Sanghi’s Rozabal line and Chanakya’s Chant? – yep. I might!
Do I recommend the book? If you enjoy history, mythology, conspiracy theories, you might like the book.
I’d give the book a 3 out of 5.
P.S.: Note to Ashwin Sanghi – your editor slipped up.
Obvious errors are:
Page 301 – Instead of Radhika Singh, it says Priya
Page 389 – it says Priya and Radhika put their hands up instead of Saini and Radhika
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