Sunday, September 23, 2012

Review of "The Krishna Key" by Ashwin Sanghi.

I received this book, "The Krishna Key"  by Ashwin Sanghi, as part of the Blogadda Book Reviews Program.

I had earlier enjoyed the "Chanakya's Chant" by the same author , and so  looked forward to this one.

I love the authors signature style of interspersing something from ancient times/history/scriptures, with the story as he tells it today.  It happened in Chanakya's as well.

This book was all about Krishna and the Mahabharata, and the stories replicating themselves in a modern world.  5000 years since Lord Vishnu's 8th avatar, Krishna , departed from this world, and one waits for the 10th avatar, that  of Kalki to manifest itself, as promised.

The story begins with a Dr Varshney , an archaeologist working in Kailbangan , who finds something, suspects/realizes  its importance, and keeps pieces of it with 4 of his researcher academic friends for safe keeping.  Dr Ravi Mohan Saini, the hero of this book, is one of them. The others get identified and killed with the killer leaving some signature signs. The other characters, are a tough lady cop, a mafia don, a leading criminal lawyer, and his  powerful daughter. The search for the Krishna Key involves, finding a base plate on which 4 clues (dispersed all over India) must fit it.  The message inscribed on the plate, and the huge search that gets undertaken by Dr Ravi Mohan Saini, Priya -his student in her 40's, the cops, and the person , who starts thinking he is Kalki himself.

While one enjoyed hearing once again, the very well told stories of Krishna and Mahabharata, interspersed  in between  to hint at similar events happening now,  one does get a bit overcome by the flood of historical research that gets thrown at us in the course of the book.  While the stuff about Dwarka and its past history still fitted in, at some point all the stuff about Aryan migration, Iraq, Sumeria, Kailash et al drew attention away.

One admires the huge research done by the author, and applauds his ability to link "today" to the "past "  bringing out the intriguing possibility of nuclear power existing in ancient vedic times, the magic of  the number 108  , the Greek travellers mentioning references to Krishna , and actually being able to pinpoint a date for the Mahabharata.

Initially the story is gripping. Then it's pace gets confused,  after  Priya reveals who she really is. There are too many things happening simultaneously, including Dons whose names are an anagram of Krishna, criminal bureau heads in league with him, the transformation in the lady police officer, and the continuous steady dose of  statements from Dr Saini as he keeps  analysing and explaining stuff like a typical academic.

The end is a surprise.

Overall,  one gets a feeling that the narrative is secondary to the amazing historical facts, discoveries and conclusions et al that the author puts forth.  There are also a couple of places where the personalities have got carelessly interchanged, and escaped the eye of the editor. 

Maybe I expected too much out of this book. But I liked the Chanakya book much better.

If at all, I would buy this books simply to be amazed by the  theories, archaeologically, linguistically, geographically,  anthropologically and historically  being put forth linking the ancient days to our world.

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


  1. It sounds an interesting book Ugich. The fact it is based around such history would amke me want to read it. See you in Melbourne soon!

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  3. Good review. I wrote one too on my blog. I think I pretty much agree with what you have said. The book started off well, but the overdose of research killed the enjoyment of reading it! Was just wondering - are you giving out too much by mentioning 'Priya reveals who she really is'. You might want to give a spoiler alert there.