Mahabharata Secret - Book Review
As I had mentioned while writing about Chanakya's Chant, we are now seeing a number of books based on Indian mythological/historical character.
Mahabharata Secret is by Christopher C Doyle, an India author. It is based on the premise that during Mahabharata War, there happened to be weapons of mass destruction (ah, that woke you up didn't it?). The blueprint for building these, as well as prototypes (maybe working ones?) were well-concealed and never known to exist.
Until a courtier of Emperor Asoka happened to stumble upon it, Asoka realized it was too dangerous for the world to know and decided to remove all evidence of it. This included erasing Vimana Parva, the chapter in the epic that referred to it, from all known existing copies of the epic. Asoka then founded "The Brotherhood of the Nine Unknown Men" - the only nine people on earth who knew about the secret (nah, not your G-9). Each of the nine knew part of the secret and only by combining information from all nine, could the secret be unearthed.
The "Brotherhood" passed over from generation to generation till it reached the modern day, when one of the nine, decided it was time to monetize the secret. He went about killing the remaining eight and thought he had got away with it. But for the fact that the eight guy, left some cryptic clues to his nephew before he died (Why cryptic? Otherwise the villains would have figured it out, right?)
The NRI entrepreneur nephew lands in India with his co-founder and decides to probe the mysterious death of his uncle. In this, he is aided by his uncle's friend, who coincidentally can read ancient scripts and his daughter (for the romantic angle?)
To keep things hot, there is a Pakistani angle and hence RAW is not far behind.
The clues left by the uncle is just a start. Solving a clue leads to another and so on. The villains are all eyes and ears and not too far away from the thick of action.
The hero and his retinue tour different places where Asoka had his edicts. Do they uncover the secret? Does it fall into the wrong hands?
It is inevitable that a parallel is drawn to The Da Vinci Code or other Dan Brown books - for the clues in historical places angle. But that is where it ends. While the book does move at a fast pace, some things look quite contrived.
An interesting premise though and I found it more interesting than Chanakya's Chant.