Skip to main content

Chanakya's Chant




Author: Ashwin Sanghi
Pages: 448
Publisher: Westland
Price: Rs. 125 on Flipkart (on a discount)
My rating: 4/5

Oh, what a book!I never thought a combination of history and politics could be so mesmerizing. I'd never been a fan of history in my school days, so attribute all my ignorance in that subject to the bland manner in which we were dished out history lessons. And, politics is a sphere I started to take interest in only recently. This book however kept me hooked on both levels.

The novel is actually two stories set in two eras ( one set about 2300 years ago and the other in the present) but connected wonderfully by a single thread-'Chanakya neeti' that is used to achieve a desirable consequence in the given set of political mish-mash. The parallel narration does more than fine justice to the stories from both eras, without compromising on the pace which is fast and gripping. I eased my way in and out of the two worlds without any jerk (in terms of waning interest or losing the thread in the flow of the story)-a proof of sound writing, IMO.


An insight into the blurb:
"The book begins in the year 340 BC, and shows how a young Brahmin boy is traumatized by the murder of his father. He decides to take revenge, and uses his calculating brain to plan it. Slowly, he becomes an expert political strategist and is known as Chanakya. He uses his skills to unify the country Bharat (ancient India). This unity, teamed up with his expertise, ensures that the army of Alexander the Great is defeated, and Chandragupta is crowned the king of the Mauryan empire. With time, Chanakya gets bored and decides to use his intelligence to pen down the Arthashastra.
Chanakya's Chant then shifts into modern India, two and a half millennium later. It focuses on Gangasagar Mishra, a poor Brahmin teacher. It turns out that this man becomes a puppeteer to people. He witnesses how contemporary India is riddled with corruption, greed, treachery, and hatred. He realizes that in order to succeed in this society he too must indulge is such malpractices. However, Chanakya's Chant highlights the possibility that this man could be a reincarnation of Chanakya. Gangasagar plans to make a slum girl the Prime Minister of India."

Interesting enough to grab a copy? Go ahead and you'll not be disappointed in all likelihood. And, do share your views if you've already read this one.



Comments

  1. i am currently reading it!!! time adjustment problems to find time to read it.. eager to finish off.. first time i am reading a political thriller..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let me know how you liked it :-)

      Delete
  2. I read it last year and loved it. A very interesting book indeed :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. To Read & Watch Chankya Life & His Policy Is Always Interesting & Inspiring & Take You to think Like Him. I am a Huge fan of Chanakya. Currently i am Reading This & This is Awesome Book,Every one Should Read It Once'

    ReplyDelete
  4. I loved this book too!! Won it in a giveaway on Kiran Manral's blog and was super excited abt that part. Read it and yes it did keep me hooked into all the politics, drama and twists! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh, wow. I had been meaning to read it for a while now, but only just managed to get hold of it.

      Delete
  5. Been wanting to read it for long now. Currently reading The oath of the Vayuputras. Your review inspires me to pock this up next.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Go grab a copy after this one...Btw, how do you find The oath of Vayuputras?

      Delete
  6. Have been longing to read this book for so many months now. Now I feel I should grab it right away :) good review.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, you must read this, Jas. I think you'll like it.

      Delete
  7. I remember the Chanakya serial that used to come on TV. The book does seem to be an interesting read!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is, Jayashree, do read it if you get a chance.

      Delete
  8. I've heard too many recommendations for this book Uma. So I am buying it finally! Will let you know how I liked it once I am through :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Maan gaye ustaad !!! The book was awesome...ending thodaa fizzle out kiya but all in all a fabulous read!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Would love to hear from you :-)
Also, please click the subscribe by Email link below the comment form to get follow-up comments to your inbox..

Popular posts from this blog

Caffeinated attraction

Words jostled inside Anusha's head as she snaked her way between the tables to her favourite spot in the cozy cafe. She slid her laptop out, rested the bag beside her on the silver grey cushioned sofa and called for her favourite cappuccino. They made it just the way she preferred: the right amount of milk and coffee, the closest alternative to the filter kaapi her mom made.

Gazing out of the glass window, she sipped her beverage, letting the bitter-sweet taste linger, weighing her thoughts before her fingers could fly on the keyboard to give shape to them. The white fluffs of clouds against the clear blue skies floated gently with the summer breeze and they seemed, to the writer in her, like mischevious sheep that had strayed off the flock.

Oh, well, it's my mind that's straying now. Need to get my act right for my next submission. Anusha willed herself back to the present.

The cafe was Anusha's muse, the mecca she haunted during the weekends for the past three months…

Rotting humanity

Doc, there's an emergency!

The breaking news flashes the brutal carnage. Images and voices float in my mind as I drive in manic speed to the hospital.

Of sirens blazing. Of toys and limbs lying scattered on a carpet of red and brown.

Oxygen! I scream. Pump, harder.

Doc, there's no pulse.

Shoulders slump.

I witness grief fuse into flames that rise up collectively at the mass funeral. The ashes fall lightly on me.

Will the stench of hate ever recede?

*** Written for a prompt at

The wedding

Holding hands under the inky blue bejeweled canopy, they swore allegiance to each other. Bedecked in a brown shimmery, the translucent veil flowing away from her coy face, she looked up nervously at him. He replied with an imperceptible nod that spoke volumes of quiet reassurance.

Family and friends had gathered for the ceremony that would bind the two lovers for life. The atmosphere was electrifying and the air abuzz with each of them signaling to the other in a frenzy of activity. A huddle in here, a huddle there, some grouping for a light tete-a-tete, some to discuss an important ritual.

The younger lot broke away from the crowd, not entirely connecting with the significance of the gathering, their individual frames dotting the arena like lost stars.

At the precise moment that would signify the sacred union, the chief called for everyone's unwavering attention. The scattered swarm, even the ones that had strayed, converged obediently towards the altar. Each member of the audie…