Chanakya's Chant - Book Review

There is a recent trend of books which are inspired by mythological or historical characters.  The last time I browsed a book shop - I could see books based on Draupadi, Mahabharatha, Parasurama, Shiva - to name a few.  What is common in all these books is a modern-day story based on either the character or the premise of the mythology.

Now, Chanakya is not a mythological character, but a historical one.  He is renowned as one of the wisest persons of ancient India, who was responsible for uniting India under Changraputa Maurya.

Ashwin Sanghi has written Chanakya's Chant, a fictitious novel that traces Chanakya's life. Running in parallel with Chanakya's story is the story of "modern day" Chanakya - Gangadhar Sharma.   The book describes how Chanakya brings about unification of India under Chandragupta.   In the modern India, Gangadhar Sharma has a single-point agenda - make his protege, Chandni, the Prime Minister of India.

Neither Chankya nor Gangadhar play by the books - it is a story of deceit, deception and destruction. Only the ends matter - the means justify the ends. 

The book alternates between Chanakya's and Gangadhar's lives and finally reaches a climax.

The book itself moves at a brisk pace and in the modern-day version the author brings in many recent incidents like aircraft-hijacking and communal violence. 

The historical version gets boring at times and often repetitive with wars, violence and bloodshed.   The modern-day plot is wafer-thin, of course, and the book should be read only for the entertainment value.  

According to wikipedia,  UTV has acquired movie rights for the book.  It would be interesting to see how that comes out!

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