The very first look at the back cover of the book gave me the impression that it is the Indian version of Da Vinci Code. And the first few chapters did prove the same. The similarities were striking. Yet, the book has its own fragrance. One cannot stop getting astonished at the amount of information stuffed in the book. They never spoiled the flow of the story nor were too much to handle. It’s a shame if Ashwin is not well applauded for the plethora of information.
Well developed characters are the pillars of such a strong plot. However, deep insight of characters like Rahim Dada and a few others seemed off place in such a plot. The turncoat of Priya was much predictable though it’s not mentioned as a complaint here. When he murders one after other it’s with the base line that he is an Avatar and they are the offenders. But no instance shows his conviction as avatar. His behavior can be viewed as a string-pulled-puppet but where was his inner conviction of the Avatar?
River Saraswathi and Krishna as a historical man of blood and flesh tremendously reminds of the trilogy series ‘Immortals of Meluha’ by Amish. These books can be looked as brother works. Nuclear physics and other such science related stuffs have to be well appreciated.
However the climax of the book seems to lack a nerve. The three sadus who come at various instances to utter wise words about their search for the Krishna key could very well be a decoy and not true. If the author had shown some exact spot or a viable explanation for not revealing the location of Krishna key it would have been much a fitting end for such a good book. Whereas, inserting philosophy in the end and turning the events portrays a picture where the author doesn’t want to stir the nerves and take an unambiguous stand.
I would call Ashwin Sanghi as the Dan Brown of India. After reading Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons, there was a longing not just in me but in many Indian readers for a similar fiction with an Indian plot. The book not only satisfies the thirst but also shows the potential and capability of budding Indian Authors.
Looks like Ashwin has a greater affinity towards his earlier creation Chankaya’s Chant. The book had the narration style of Past and the Present both simultaneously. This book too has the narration style in the same way- Story of Krishna and the current happenings both being told simultaneously. Ashwin has artfully blended Facts and Fiction without any fissures for doubt.
The language and articulation is comfortable to read except for certain portions where it confuses a little with the characters. The pictorial representations sprinkled here and there made the story fast moving and more interesting. I daresay that many of the Indian youth would have felt ashamed for not knowing our own epics like Mahabaratham, after reading this book.
Whatever be the real Krishna key, we could all take it as an opportunity to revisit our own ancient stories and epics to at least read if not research. I couldn’t and still not able to stop marveling Ashwin for this beautiful Krishna key. May the Vish (or is it the Shiv?) bless him and us with more such books.