I always thought that I should add a “Book Watch” category to my Blog…chiefly because I love books, and the nerd in me still didn’t die, even after being a sell-out to career, even after surviving in the media-corporate-PR-Journalism field for almost the last three years combined. Also, a blog which is focused on International Relations, and foreign affairs, and politics, MUST and SHOULD have a book review section in it. But unfortunately, I have to read a variety of books, due to the sphere of my work, and all of them doesn’t go with the character of this blog. However, this new Blogadda book review thing looked quite interesting to me, cause, frankly, for any bookworm nerd, the thing that can cheer them up even when there’s a riot going on is the smell of the middle pages of a new book.
Who doesn’t like a good free book along with some coffee, man!
Now, the book here in discussion is “Chanakya’s Chant“…by Ashwin Sanghi. Ashwin Sanghi is the author of Rozabal Line. (for those who have read, you don’t need the introduction, for those who didn’t, there’s a thing called Wikipedia…)
I was returning from Mumbai to Kolkata, and a good one and a half rain soaked days in the train was right ahead, staring down my eyes. Usually I would have got a Hadley Chase from the railway book counter, but this time it was different. I had this book. And I was fascinated as well as sceptical. Chanakya, is a fascinating character, and one of my favorite, being a student of political science, and international relations. The greatest scheming brain of ancient India, a man whose treatise on Military and Espionage, is still taught World Wide, even though, sadly, Indians have forgotten him, as like any other thing from our heritage. And any book or movie, trying to analyse or portray him would be walking through fire. One wrong step and you are a goner. So, I was doubtful how much this book will do justice to the character…
I was like, so totally wrong…
This book deals with Chankya’s scheming and political maneuvers with those of modern India, of a Brahman named Gangasagar Mishra, a teacher in an obscure small town in the Hindi heartland. Driven by a desire to make his protege the Prime Minister of India…this man plots. The schemes gives a feeling of raw vulnerability…the pace is breathless, the parallel world is almost surreal, and the convolutions goes on with venomous precision…to a deadly, climactic end.
A few stereotypes are there…and that is exactly why this book won’t get a “full five” from me. But for a young author, with only this being only his second novel, I guess I should give him this benefit. It gets four stars on five, from DWW.
Do read this book…and after that, do read up on Chanakya. Otherwise, you are not an Indian.