2 Stories in one - reading this was like watching movie 'Rajneeti'
31 August, 2013
After 2 disappointments from Ashwin Sanghi and an assurance from a good friend – that this one will not be that bad – I picked it up. To my surprise, Ashwin has actually done a good job at it. Wonder what happened to him while writing The Rozabal Line (TRL) and The Krishna Key (TKK). All through Chanakya's Chant (CC), I was imagining it as a movie (very much on the lines of the Bollyood movie - Rajneeti) with a similar star cast and look-n-feel.
CC is a 2-in-1 novel with 2 separate storylines in two different ages. One story is that of Chanakya from 2300 year ago while the other is that of Gangasagar who belongs to the present times of the 21st century. Both stories are well written and well executed with enough twists-n-turns with interesting surprises written into the plot. The old as the new story intrigues you and compels you to re-think politics. Chanakya was a ruthless politician and a Kingmaker … Gangasagar is just the same.
Both stories are related in the sense that there are a lot of parallels between the two tracks. You are indeed reading 2 stories at the same time, simultaneously. It reminded me of Matthew Reilly's "Temple" where he has 2 storylines running in parallel in different ages.
The story is well written except for the numerous one-liners that Gangasagar and Chanakya keep using throughout the book. It somehow lessened the appeal of the characters (for me). Especially since I knew that most of these one liners have been said by others and some of them assigned to Chanakya may not even have existed in those times 2300 years ago.
If the novel is indeed converted into a movie or a TV serial, the one-liners will definitely be enjoyable and will be a major draw for the program. Personally, I wouldn't want the movie to focus on the Chanakya story - just the present story of Gangasagar would be cool.
Definitely an interesting read. I would recommend. Finally an Ashwin Sanghi novel that I liked
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