Tanvi's Reviews > Chanakya's Chant

Chanakya's Chant by Ashwin Sanghi
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Jun 17, 12

Read from June 03 to 14, 2012

What's wrong with Indian authors? I mean, okay, I do not expect you guys to come up with a 'The God of Small Things' in your first stroke but come on, you can do better than that!

'Chanakya's Chant' by Ashwin Sanghi attempts at being a historical fiction and a political satire, both at the same time because the writer switches between two eras 2300 years apart. The common thread, Chanakya. The master manipulator who had vowed to make Chandragupta Maurya the king of a united Bharat. A fascinating guy with really noble intentions, no doubt. But since much had been said and written about Chanakya, and to make the book more relevant to the present day masses Sanghi paints a modern-day Chanakya who is nothing short of Superman. I still do not complain. In fact, the writer is successful in his objective of introducing Chanakya to young Indian readers and proving how relevant his teachings are even today. But I have a problem with the treatment of the book. The writer completely destroys whatever interest that had arisen within you after reading the synopsis, with something modern Indian authors simply cannot refrain from- the Indian masala (literally, Indian spices but figuratively, melodrama) Sanghi had an excellent idea, an inspiration and a full-fledged plot at hand! All he had to do was adapt it to modern times. But the guy simply ruined this opportunity by falling to the temptation of a possibility of his book being adapted into a film. (Why not, they made 'Five-Point Someone' and 'One Night at the Call Center into films) I agree that if it happened in Chanakya's times it can happen now too. Sure, Indian politics is full of blood and gore and it's very easy to be tempted to write about it, but please do justice to it.

The time-trick is good, the writer has saved a lot of google-ing for the readers by giving a parallel track of Chanakya but the stories never blend together. In the sense that, the present day version seems like a word-to-word translation of the past! What's the point if you've given it already. I honestly enjoyed the past-version more.

The characters are flat, including Chanakya and Gangasagar's. They seem too snobbish, omniscient and preachy all the time. It's annoying.

More than anything, it saddens me that the writer blew-up the opportunity of taking Chanakya to the global level by introducing him to not only the new Indian generation but also the global generations.
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Comments (showing 1-16 of 16) (16 new)

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Prashanth Baskaran one of my favs!!


Tanvi Well, so far I feel I am reading a book version of the Bollywood movie 'Raajneeti'.


Prashanth Baskaran maybe you should read this book when you're 25.


Tanvi Lol! Any special reason? I believe a good book is one that inspires people, no matter what age they are.


Prashanth Baskaran right, you are! But politics is a little mature for you to understand. you've to be employed and earning to get it better! ;-)


Tanvi I cannot help laughing at someone who is being so judgmental without knowing me in the slightest.


Prashanth Baskaran Hey, I just looked at your age and typed out a comment (didn't you notice the smiley). Just had an idea that you'd not have faced office politics and some of the things given in the book relates very much to that. Also, I don't claim that the book is a masterpiece. It is fast moving, entertaining, and personally I like Chanakya very much.


Prashanth Baskaran In all honesty, I liked the book very much and so wanted to defend my point. And, my recommendation to enjoy Indian authors would be having a pretty low expectation from the book. In this way, you won't be disappointed that much. (If my rating of the book misled you, much apologies ma'am) :-)


message 9: by Amit (new)

Amit Mishra Believe me Mr. Prashanth...this young lady has a very wise head on her shoulders.

And I agree with you Tanvi, the book personifies the statement "The road to hell is paved by good intentions."

The book starts well, dozes off in the middle and is outright bad in the end.

No doubt...it is a bad advertisement to the spirit of Kautilya.


message 10: by Rajat (new)

Rajat Pillai The novel that is making waves around the country, 'Chandragupta:Path of a Fallen Demigod' (NATIONAL BESTSELLER) is now on Flipkart and Infibeam. If your love a fast paced thriller and love Indian history/culture. This novel is for you.


message 11: by Tanvi (new) - rated it 1 star

Tanvi B wrote: "In all honesty, I liked the book very much and so wanted to defend my point. And, my recommendation to enjoy Indian authors would be having a pretty low expectation from the book. In this way, you ..."

:) No, I hadn't checked your ratings for this one. And it's completely alright to defend something you like, but just because someone else doesn't, does not mean there's something wrong with him or her. Different things appeal to different people, and that's the beauty of it. As Voltaire said, and I live by this quote, "I do not agree with you, but I will fight to death for your right to believe so."


message 12: by Tanvi (new) - rated it 1 star

Tanvi Amit wrote: "Believe me Mr. Prashanth...this young lady has a very wise head on her shoulders.

And I agree with you Tanvi, the book personifies the statement "The road to hell is paved by good intentions."

Th..."


Yes. But I would like to acknowledge the fact that it roused my curiosity about Chanakya and that I am going to look for more authentic sources for info on him.


message 13: by Tanvi (new) - rated it 1 star

Tanvi Rajat wrote: "The novel that is making waves around the country, 'Chandragupta:Path of a Fallen Demigod' (NATIONAL BESTSELLER) is now on Flipkart and Infibeam. If your love a fast paced thriller and love Indian ..."

Thank you.


Prashanth Baskaran Tanvi wrote: "And it's completely alright to defend something you like, but just because someone else doesn't, does not mean there's something wrong with him or her"

I never said anything is wrong with you or your opinion. That's the reason I put a winking smiley at the end of my comment.

Please don't take offense when it is not meant at all. :-)


message 15: by Tanvi (new) - rated it 1 star

Tanvi OK B, none taken.


Prashanth Baskaran Tanvi wrote: "OK B, none taken."

"like"


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