Saturday, September 29, 2012

Ashwin Sanghi's The Krishna key


When  I received this book for review, I thought I did a mistake of picking up a thriller for  I am no fan of thrillers or mysteries. Despite some dampeners, this book kept me hooked  because of the historical and mythological data. That  I prioritized the book amidst a tight personal  & professional schedule shows how engrossed i was with the book last week.  I must also admit that the book which raced through some places was a drag at many places and broke at the end. No wonder, the author asks us not to flip to the end since this will act as a plot spoiler. Nevertheless, a fascinating book.

 India's youngest Linguist and symbolist Anil Varshney  bids for an antique base plate of Raja Man Singh  in Sotheby's  auction and wins the bid. This base plate has grooves for 4 antique seals. The assembling of these seals found at the various ancient excavation sites of India like Kalibangan, Kurukshetra, Dwarka and mathura when fixed  on the auctioned base plate gives way to 'The Krishna key'. This key exposes  an ancient secret  which is Lord Krishna's  precious legacy to mankind. This book also makes you feel that Lord Krishna is not a myth and a reality.

Now, over to the story.  Anil tries to place these seals in the safe custody of 4 of his close friends just in case anything happens to him. So he entrusts the seals to  his friends who are all doctorates in Nuclear science, life science, History and an off shore explorer. The professor in Mythological history  Ravi Mohan  Saini is the protagonist  who meets Anil Varshney before he was killed by a person named Taarak Vakil.  Before getting killed , Anil leaves a  seal and a cryptic message  to Ravi Saini. This message  helps him to piece together the four seals on the auctioned base plate which is safely locked in a safe deposit locker.

Anil Varshney is killed with a scalpel and the murderer marks a shloka on the wall with the blood. Ravi mohan Saini is suspected as the killer since he was the last one to visit Anil. Ravi mohan Saini flees the police custody along with his beautiful doctoral student Priya Ratnani. Priya's father Sanjay Ratnani a lawyer helps fight the case of Ravi Saini and is also instrumental in the escape of Ravi and Priya.

From here on begins the race to trace the three seals. The duo try to meet the remaining friends by dodging the police as they travel to  Dwarka, Porbandar and  Somnath and from here on he splits with Priya. The story takes a twist here  and Ravi travels to  Mount Kailash and finally ends up at Agra's Taj mahal where he finds the answer to Krishna's key.

 The above is the brief of the book which has each chapter beginning with the first person narration of Lord Krishna himself  from his life to death and then correlated to the contemporary story line.

What i liked about the book was the exhaustive research done by Ashwin Sanghi. The list of references and acknowledgements behind the book shows the amount of work Sanghi has put into the book. I am tempted to read all those books because of my fascination for Indian history, mythology and heritage.

Many historical and mythological facts backed with scientific reasoning gives you goose bumps and makes you feel blessed that you belong to a proud race - the Indian race.  I have always believed our ancestors were a treasure house of information and pioneers in many fields. If the theories and data of this book are authentic then this book has some fascinating facts like much before Oppenheimer, Newton,Einstein, Big bang theory our ancestors like the yogis  knew about the theory of relativity, dispersion of light, levitation, atomic energy, nuclear energy etc. It was a revelation  to read about the architecture of Taj mahal which was originally supposed to be Raja Man singh's palace. These were the reasons I held on to the book.

Otherwise, i found the book describing too many killings and many of the character sketches  like Taarak vakil, Sir Khan and too many sanskrit shlokas  etc overly done.

Also, for the amount of research Sanghi has done, he could have proof checked the book with the same zeal. I myself could find two glitches, one is on page 301 where the last para should begin with  Radhika and not Priya. and on page 389 where it should read Saini and Radhika( not priya and Radhika)

It was definitely a good read for me but the tempo petered at many places. What held me to the book was the fascinating  historical , mythological  and the scientific explanation of our culture.

Ashwin sanghi is the author of the best selling Rozabal line and award winning Chanakya's chant. Chanakya's chant - a political thriller  is now on the way to be a movie. Ashwin  is a Yale graduate and is an entrepreneur by profession but writing historical fiction in thriller genre is his passion and hobby.


                                                   The Krishna Key
                                                   Ashwin Sanghi
                                         Published by Westland limited
                                                          INR 250  

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


  1. pinni pedalings..sooper dooper review..intha book pathi thaan ella edathulyum post panitrukanga..want to read it soon :)

  2. The obvious pat comment would be an Indian version of The Da Vinci Code. Was it like that ??

    These are difficult books to write and as you say, extensive research is required. There isn't must historical fiction in India - worth a read based on your review.

  3. Nice review Asha. Will try to read the book.

  4. @ gils - do read - i honestly feel after reading this book, it is not enough if we have talent, we have to market and shout our skills. Perhaps the reason why our ancient wisdom is buried. Let me know if you liked it.

    @ Ramesh - I have not read Da vinci code, so i have no clue about this. But i do agree this book has definetly extracted lot of work from Sanghi. Let me know how you felt about this book.

    @ Rama- let me know how you liked.

  5. As someone mentioned before,it does seem to resemble a wee bit with the Da Vinci Code.Nevertheless,writing such books are a bit difficult coz if anything is exaggerated,the author will have to face backlash for sure.
    Nice post :) Will try to read it (coz am pretty lazy and now that I recently joined work,time seems to run like Bolt :D)

  6. This was an interesting read... a real page turner till the end. I quite liked the detailed explanations of some things like the significance of No. 9, 7 or swastika or the anagrams of the 2 names...
    Too much of details and explanation could have been avoided, I feel!