Book: Chanakya’s chant
Author: Ashwin Sanghi
Price: Rs. 195
Number of pages: 443
Life has been hectic ever since I moved to Mumbai. I have not read a book for the past three months. That’s so not me. Marriage, shifting cities, finding a new job, interviews etc etc were priorities and the books I carried all the way from Madras were safely locked in a suitcase. It is certainly difficult for a person who is addicted to reading and manages to read over five books a month. Hence you can imagine the delight when I was selected to be a part of the book review contest by Blogadda. I was even more delighted to receive Chanakya’s Chant because I was looking forward to read this book for long.
Chanakya’s chant has two plots that are interwoven. One set in 340 BC and another one 2300 years later. The book gives an in-depth insight in to how Chanakya dethrones Dhananada, saves Bharat from Alexander and installs Chandragupta on the throne of the Mauryan Empire.
Another fictional story that runs in parallel is that of Pandit Gangasagar Mishra, who leaves no stones unturned in installing Chandni Gupta, a slum child as the prime minister ofIndia. Not only that but this Chandni Gupta also manages to serveIndiain the capacity of Prime Minister for three terms.
What made me cringe though was how Chandragupta was simply reduced to a Puppet. It may be acceptable in the case with Chandini Gupta but not so much with Chandragupta. Of course all of us have learnt that Chanakya was Chandragupta’s teacher, but it is ridiculous to suggest that Chandragupta had no role to play in it.
Another major cringe worthy aspect in the book was the generous usage of famous quotes from ‘Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister, quotes of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Mark Twain, Winston Churchill, Napolean Bonaparte, Oscar Wilde etc. Imagine Chanakya conversing in these quotes. We say Chankaya penned down Arthashastra, so how does the use of such quotes justify the legend that Chanakya was. This was a major major put off.
The liberal use of words like Bastard, cuntface, arsewipe, fucking puts a frown to your face! More so for a story set in the BC. You certainly don’t want to read ‘fucking’ four times in a fucking sentence.
I was glad that Pandit Gangasagar’s story made a more interesting read than that of Chanakya’s. This reflects the story telling ability of the author.
It was interesting how the author has interwoven the two stories. It certainly makes for a page turning and riveting read. I particularly liked the pen ultimate chapter where the author brings in the Shakti triumphs Shiva factor.
The characterization though brilliant was too one dimensional in both the plots. Chanakya and Gangasagar have been portrayed as the ultimate intellect to have been born on earth and everyone surrounding these characters is a bunch of fools who never seem to understand what’s going on in their master’s mind. Consider this, if Chandni Gupta could have served as Prime Minister for three full terms, how she could be as dumb as it has been depicted, barring her stage skills.
Gangasagar Mishra’s plot gets 1.5 points and the interweaving of the plot gets one
This one is worth a read!