Skip to main content

Float or wade: Review of Ashwini Sanghi's Chanakya's Chant

The book had been borrowed after I finished reading The Krishna Key. Something or the other kept coming up and I could not settle down with the book. But then I decided to take my life in my own hands and managed to wade through this massive book (441 pages plus some more, bibliography etc). 

Now you might wonder why am I using this particular verb- wade. If you are anything like me and have a thing for pace or a mother of two with limited access to 'me time' which you spend on reading rather than getting your eyebrows shaped then that is what I suggest you do, if the book is on your to-read list.

The book has interesting portions and some information that any history lover would love but other than the author makes you work hard for the money you have spent on it. The story follows two tracks; one in present day India, where a girl child Chandini, from a Kanpur slum is polished to become the PM of the country, by her mentor who had found (dug out literally) an inscription with a powerful chant inscribed on it. The chant is attributed to Chnakya and that is the second and far more interesting track in the book. This track talks about Alexander's invasion, Dhananand's atrocities and Chandragupta's rise to power through all the scheming and plotting done by Chanakya.

The other track about Chandini is similar to one of the many Hindi movies of the 90s where corruption is shown having a field day and how a common but very intelligent man (the kingmaker) is able to manipulate the system to fulfill his motive of installing his chosen one on to the highest office. The portion is tedious. It reads less like a story and more like a short course on the working of Indian Administrative Services.

Though the author manages to sprinkle some interesting characters in both the tracks of the story, a major put off for me was what came out of their mouths inside "" marks. 

If you have read Reader's Digest of the yore, when it still belonged to De Wallace's original idea then you would understand my pain of seeing famous quotes attributed to the characters like Chanakya ang Gangasagar (the kingmaker) and some others in the novel. To the author's credit, he takes no credit for them and writes 'In the story some key quotes have been attributed to various characters..have been inspired from other sources'. (As far as I am concerned they have been simply lifted and used rather than inspiring the author. So do we have a case of ends justifying the means?)

Dive into the novel at your own peril and choose to wade or float.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A case for non-fiction or better understanding of kidlit

If you are a parent there are more chances than one that YOU have handed your child a book to read. Or you have chosen to bring home the books that you think that she might like to read. If any of these hold true then we are almost alike and no this is not an article that tells you how wrong you have been all along in bringing your child the books that you choose. This is just a few of my thoughts on this very subject
that I gathered today morning as I wrote an Instagram post.

Let me begin at the beginning.
Today my soon to be 4, son sat down with a book and was at it for good 10-15 minutes. No, it wsn't a tome. It wa a small picture book on trucks. My friend gifted him this book on trucks on his first birthday. The chap was fascinated with it from the moment he got it. You could flip pages and see bright pictures of different types of trucks and then you could open little sliding screens to find out men in uniform who drove a certain kind of truck.

Unsurprisingly his first words …

Reusable cotton pads: My first experience

I had been trying to bring changes for a sustainable living for a while now and using reusable cotton pads for Aunt Flo's monthly visits was an idea that appealed massively to my senses. After searching here and there I found a Kolkata based manufacturer- Shomota- who were also involving women from underprivileged background in manufacturing these pads as well as sharing the profit from sales to make these pads available to girls and women in interiors of West Bengal. BONUS point- I have also come to realise that sustainability is more efficient and worthwhile if you choose local. Also the fact that we are dumping non biodegradable waste on the planet and that is equal to some sort of violence in my head and I have been brought up on the beliefs laid by the Arya Samaj movement, I needed a better option than the mass marketed sanitary pads. I looked and examined a few option that I realised were available to me before making up my mind on the reusable cloth pad.

Why I chose cloth p…

Of new resolutions and newer authors

The year has started on the right note. I have already read two authors whom I had not read before falling hard for the one being hailed as Japanese Steig Larrson- Keigo Hagashino.
That is what got me thinking about new year resolutions  (I know we are done with the first quarter) which I haven't made in years. So here is a list of authors that I would like to sample this year.
-
1. Manu Joseph
2. Pico Iyer
3. Anthony Horowitz
4. Margret Atwood
5. Toni Morrison
6. Chimamanda Adichie
7. Jo Nesbo
8. Neil Gaiman
9. Terry Pratchett 10. Alice Munro
But I also realise the futility of making a list like this as there are just so many authors, poets, writers and just so many works coming to fore everyday. A book group might help, you would think but let me tell you that it complicates things further. New recommendations, fantastic and not so fantastic reviews, pictures, blog posts and what not really makes matter well,complicated.
All said and done, it is but human to try and so I shall …