Thursday, September 27, 2012

[review] The Krishna Key by Ashwin Sanghi

Ashwin Sanghi has done a lovely job of making archaeologist hero! The Krishna key is a marvelous combination of ancient India and modern Indian Subject Matter experts (SMEs) painting a rich pallor to the country and its technical prowess; via the thriller-genre. The thriller is woven along with factual info about the ancient India and has figments of Gita. A lot of little stories that we may have read in the Gita is sporadically sprinkled along the length of the book.

Ancient Dwarga, the city which Krishna has purportedly built over seven times, requested their citizens to carry a seal as a passport. Anil Varshney gets in hand four of these seals. Not willing to put the safety of the four seals in peril, he decides to split them with his spit-promise-type-friends, the four men in whom he has a LOT of faith. The four seals and a baseplate to rest the four seals consists of what is known as the Krishna Key; they open the doors to 5000+ year old preserved secret.

Krishna is the 8th avatar of God Vishnu. It is claimed in the Gita that in the realms of Kaliyuga, Krishna will don his Kalki avatar, the 10th one, to bring the evil on earth to an apocalyptic end.  The villain believes he is that avatar. He thwarts the bearers of the seal and their hunt, as the protagonists move toward solving the puzzle to the Krishna key.

*spoiler alert begins*
As Anil parts his seal away with his four friends he is killed in a peculiar fashion, Ravi Mohan Saini who had spent the day before with Anil therefore becomes the prime suspect. He evades the police - Rathika and Rathore – and moves on the run, along with his student Priya. He should accomplish two tasks one – get the seals secured from the rest of the three men and two – solve the Krishna Key and vanquish the puzzle. The question of life and death along with execution of the task in hand is portrayed well. Another refreshing twist occurs when the villain in hand is really not the villain but are a pseudo villains – puppets who strings are controlled by the don who fought his way up the dirty ladder! It makes you ask a new series of why all over again. Is the puppet controlled by the string or string by the puppet is another think you would be pondering about.
*spoiler alert ends*

We are on an information avalanche that answers a lot of questions which might have been on our minds. The book discusses various myths that are associated with Hinduism and has progressed to say that they are not myths but they are historical facts. The book astounds readers with information like :
  • The Harappa Mohenjodaro/Indus valley civilization was a secondary effect that happened after the Saraswathi civilization that flourished along the Saraswathi rives in 3000 odd BC. The period when Krishna lived.
  • It also discusses how Mount Kailash was also known as mount Meru – which was coopted in the Sumerian Civilization. Thus implying what went on in India as the Saraswathi civilization was the mother. This information just burns the reader with anxiety, here the author throws more information asking – is Mt. Kailash an artificial architecture feat? It shows that Mt Kailash was not only a holy place for Hindus but also Jains, Bons, Buddhists.
  •  How Megasthenes a Greek ambassador in Chandra Gupta Maurya court speaks about Krishna as Hercules in his address. How the Abraham discussed in both Christian and Islamic religion is nothing but a twist of Bhrama and make the reader go wow!
  • We know that India was resplendent with a lot of richness which was plundered by Mohammed Gajini. The Somnath temple was one of the affected structures - here the Lingam is said to be levitating, the scientific explanations supporting levitation is mind blowing!

To know how all these information are entwined into the thriller. To know who eats whom in the dog eat dog world. To read about the hunt for the Key which might reveal the weapon Bhramastra or Syamantaka or perhaps even Krishnas DNA - reach out to your online bookstore rightaway and shed 250 bucks; worth the money considering the fact the book is not just one, but a lot of mini-books complied into one!

The only minor hiccup can be that in one or two places, there was disgruntled narrative and we would have expected a firm edition. For me, the romance was matter of factly, and not really vital as it offered nothing to the story. Leaving which the book is one satiating read. Which I would definitely recommend! And whats wrong with being Dan Brownish if the end result is good!

If you are the “I love information overdose” types you will love the book to BITS and more!

So there, what are you waiting for – get your copy of The Krishna key right away!

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


  1. I am gonaa give it a try - heard many goody good things about this book

  2. At times I felt he was trying too hard to be 'Dan Brown'ish.. but still, without a doubt well researched and far superior to most of the present day Indian novels

  3. @Vinisha - yep do so!

    @Roshan - it was 'inspired' by Dan Brown, shall we say - cos of course this was a search of the holy grail sorts with Indian roots :)

  4. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery - too many unnecessary plot-twists - the author is trying to present a Clive Cussler and Dan Brown rolled into one.

    I would recommend Chanakya's Chant a definitely better-researched and intriguing book but that too has a filmy ending :( blame it on Chetan Bhagat :)

  5. will try to see if I can get a copy over the weekend ... good review Kappu !

  6. Wonderful review. Am waiting to get my hands on it ...:) thanks Kappu...

  7. Good review Kappu. Seems to be a very interesting read!

  8. Reading about Mohejodaro reminded me of my school days where I had to learn the Harrappa culture and about Mohenjodaro.

  9. @jayshree :) do give a try!

    @Haddock - ditto there! I guess I was in seventh grade that time.. haha!

  10. Agree about the information overdose... but I liked the information on Swastika, the significance of Number 9, 7, one-eight pattern, 108...
    Pretty engrossing read!