The Krishna Key by Ashwin Sanghi
Like his earlier book Chanakaya Chants, this book The Krishna Key also follows two parallel stories. One in the past in the times of Krishna. And one in the current day. Though the parallels end there. In this book, the stories are not really parallel. The ancient tale is an abridged version of Krishna’s story. While the modern tale is about the search for a historical key that would lead to a secret that the scientific, archeological and many other research communities seem to be working on. The story has been attempted as a thriller, has its own series of revealing secrets, murders. And a lot of Gyan in between them.
The good part of the book The Krishna Key is it talks about many scientific facts from our ancient theories that are now being accepted and acknowledged by modern scientists. It introduces you to a lot of symbology in ancient Indian art and mythology. It brings together the various disciplines that probably existed as integrated discipline in ancient India. But are many different independent streams in the modern world that usually fail to talk to each other. It looks at the map of India from various angles. And brings out the significance of many places that we only thought as religious places. The author talks about the mythology or the ancient history. As much as he tells about the new age studies to discover the secrets of the past. There is some common knowledge here and a lot of not so common one.
The down side is the weak story line, especially the end. Why were the important plate and seals important is lost towards the end? Why were they being sought is just given up in the end. And it seems the purpose of the story is lost. The story tries to stitch together a lot of scientific and historical facts. It tries to establish the lineage of the historical Krishna. And link them to the existing castes and sub castes today. It tries to explain the scientific truth behind many of the rituals that we follow. I myself study rituals and try to locate the scientific rationale behind them. So I was very happy to learn a few new ones.
The whole thriller with murders every few pages look more like a garb to share all the knowledge that author has learned about the subject. The closing of the story is very poor as the whole 10th Avatar theory is lost. And you suddenly figure out that a couple of characters have been engaged in all the illegal things. Even without knowing why they are doing that, without knowing the relevance of the thing that they are seeking. And without understanding why the person who deployed them did so. The story has quite a few gaps that are too obvious.
I think the author had too many things that he wanted to weave within a single story. And that is exactly where he fumbled. There are far too many subjects that he tries to convey. And at a lot of places, the text gets preachy. And on top of that, some things are repeated again and again. I think the story could have been chiseled by choosing what to say, more importantly, what not to say. And of course by better editing. Like the Mahabharata, retelling could have been completely avoided as the reader who can understand the mythology would know the basic outline of it. And if they do not know they would not get the significance with the outline.
I also found the mention of certain brands in the narrative very distracting. And I almost thought they are paid brand placement given the fact that book was expected to be a bestseller, but the author denied this. I mean you are describing a scene where the protagonists are on the run and you suddenly get into describing the make of the car in detail, which has no relevance whatsoever to the story.
In the book The Krishna Key, there are quite a few editing mistakes, like wrong names and dates, besides the incoherent language. We really need some good editors and I thought successful authors like Sanghi can at least get some good ones.
I enjoyed the non-fiction bits of the story, as the subjects are of my interest. The story disappoints big time this time.