Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Krishna Key by Ashwin Sanghi

Title: The Krishna Key
Author: Ashwin Sanghi
Price: 250
Publishers: Westland

Ravi Mohan Saini: An intelligent and well informed professor of history teaching at St. Stephens college, Delhi.
Priya: Saini's doctoral student.
Radhika Singh: A tough police officer, a woman who can give many men a run for their money when it comes to solving criminal cases.
Sunil Garg: Director of CBI
Taarak Vakil: An innocent rich boy victimized to kill.
Sanjay Ratnani: Priya's father and India's top criminal lawyer
Sir Khan: The don in the den.

The book begins with a mysterious murder and a History professor being framed. The murderer kills in the name of God and to be able to stop him and not let himself be wiped out, the professor along with his doctoral student set out on exposing the ancient secret of the human avatar of Krishna which is the key to unearthing the mystery behind the murders. I liked the way in which he has drawn parallels to the mythological characters and crafted a plot that is not rushing, yet very engrossing. One can say, the book is the Indian take on the Da Vinci Code, again with Hinduism playing its role to not hurt the Indian sentiments. It is less furious than the Da Vinci Code in its flow and the twists and turns in the story keep you hooked to the hatch.
What I particularly liked was the way in which  excerpts from the Mahabharata kept appearing to tell of a tale that was a fable for me till now. So also, it tells us of many strange secrets from the Indian history with realistic roles of civilizations and kings, that the history books did not delegate in detail.

The book also gives a discourse on what is good and what is bad and the importance of making the right choices in life. The comparisons between the characters and the mythological personalities make the story all the more a catch.  And without any advisory authority tells us of  how the wicked ways only lead to destruction and nothing else.

The book is a peerless pick for people who are interested in spine chilling thrillers or those who have an eye for history and mythology. Infact anyone who doesn't know the story of Mahabharata can pick it up for a peek.

A few of the flaws in the book I particularly like to point are these.
1) The usage of the word "barked" is sometimes irrelevant in telling us of the characters and what they wanted to say.
2) The author talks of a Smith and Wesson! What is Smith and Wesson for the average Indian reader? No clarifications on that.
3) On Page 245, the usage of "Dot on time for her" doesn't make sense.
4) On page 253, the usage of an extra "out" in the line fitted out with the latest audio and video equipment did not make sense.
5) On page 284, the Don smiled a smile of satisfaction. Is smiling a smile of satisfaction the correct usage?
6) On page 301, Radhika was wrongfully referred to as Priya in the last paragraph on the page.

Then there were many other places where a "would" was replaced by a "will" and present perfect became the past tense in a blink of an eye. These tiny trivialities could have been done away with, to give the readers a better piece of literature.

The book scores 3/5 points on the exhaustive exploration done to provide a whooper of a plot, and 2 points go away for the grammar errors and spelling mistakes and the giving away on the identity of the character Radhika on page 301.

Saturday, September 1, 2012


Tension is the one factor that is eating up our brains and reflectively reminds me of the stubborn stains that our dirty clothes usually have at the end of a tiring day. With them being left at the mercy of the maid or the washing machine, the dirt is dusted off the fabric and our clothes come back to their old self. We may happen to wear the same dress on another day, and it may again get shamed on the seams by some other kind of a stain.

Life seems to be following the same crooked cycle of happenings. The mind sometimes, soaks up too much of tensions and worries and in a mortal moment of human fallacy blurts out on the world around you. People then may seemingly consider you an angry snob snorted in pride and might also want to break off all ties with you because of the mishap.
I belong to a class of people who can't take hypocrisy with a pinch of salt and have often landed in the most questionable of situations when it came to my closest friends and family. I have thanked my stars many times over and over again for not letting any of those beautiful relationships from being severed because of my loved ones bearing witness to my tales of tension. I've always let stress shamelessly soak into my grey cells and wasn't doing much to scrub them off, distorting my image in front of the world.
The realization of how much damage I was causing my mind pensively plagued with problems, came to me on a Wednesday evening, when the maid went absconding. And I was supposed to wash a shirt of mine seared in brown coffee stains and mottled by dirt. The sight of the shirt was giving me a heart attack in triplicates but for the meeting on the next day this piece of clothing would make for a perfect costume. To make it wearable I had to let a miracle happen much like the genie coming out of the bottle and making magic in the blink of an eye. The washing machine could not have done the trick since the shirt was spoiled in five or six places requiring a through rinsing and rubbing. While soaking my shirt in the detergent and the oxygen bleach and soaping in to sluice the stains, I saw the water getting coloured in brownish black hues and the piece of clothing that I achingly admired coming back to its old world charm.

Having witnessed this chemical reaction, my thoughts took for a flight of fancy. I started visualizing my mind as a piece of fabric forged by anxiety, concern and a host of other kinds of distressing emotions. Or a spider weaving a web around itself erringly trying to twist the threads.
Doesn't our mind go through the same kind of phenomenon when we bring home varied versions of misery and misgiving.? And in letting it grow in us like the weeds that deserve to be plucked and plundered, we harm ourselves to be handicapped. Much like a piece of cloth that can be scrubbed off the silly stains tarnishing its beauty, we all can relax and take out more time for our sweet selves scouring off the worrisome woes that can harm us and our loved ones.

Some people like me have often been misunderstood because of these trials and tribulations I housed in myself and unknowingly becoming a victim of controversy. Not recalling those incidents I decided to move forward in life, for sometimes I felt that those hurtful hours of discord were also a doing of the other person and I couldn't at all times hold myself guilty. But to beat tension and trauma I started following these simple tips incorporating them into my everyday life.

1) I started smiling more often and even when I did not want to paste that grin on my face, this diplomatic dame in me took over and made me whimper. Somewhere down the line, even a fake smile did me no harm and people started considering me as a person with a positive attitude. Surely, I begin my day with a smile and that has added oodles of confidence to my personality.

2) My skin specialist told me on one of my visits to her, that often when we are cloistered in confusing conflicts of mind, our breathing becomes shallow restricting the flow of oxygen needed for circulation. I have instilled breathing exercises in my daily regime of workout and walks which has done me a lot of good.

3) The best form of exercise for me is thirty minutes of walk down the lanes of our colony. Watching children play in the neighborhood parks and seeing older people plagiarizing my actions has been a wonderful sighting. I often watch birds and try discovering rarer plants along the pathway while I walk, painting pleasing pictures into the rainbow of my mind.

4)Music has been the food for my soul and no matter how tired I am, it is a doing everyday and one that happens without failure. Listening to my favourite old Bollywood classics and western music has managed to mute much of the malaise in me.

5) Having something to hope for can motivate you and help you stay focused. That kind of an activity ranges from working on my poetry manuscript to submitting to poetry journals and even participating in the Indiblogger contests. All these are activities I eagerly look forward to each and everyday of my life.

6) Do indulge in your favourite food once in a while. The thought of a binge to feed your senses and stomach can be a blissful blessing one can anticipate in the day or during the week. If stress is giving you a tough time you may also go for Ginseng.It has the ability to improve blood circulation to reduce the effects of stress, improve mental clarity and support the functions of the nervous system.

7) Going for occasional breaks and involving myself in hobbies and especially in shopping and poetry has worked as a purgative for my otherwise, stressed mind.

8) I try to not concern myself with the trivialities of life and the way people judge me. Always remember, anyone or anything troubling you is not entirely your cause of concern. Just like a clap that is always the doing of two hands, such is an argument. Do not try to interfere in others matters until they ask you to do so while always lending your shoulder for a person in need. Don't overdo an act of kindness and do not try to act like the Messiah. If something has gone wrong in the past and you have not been able to straighten it, leave it like that and move forward in life while holding your neck high.

These are few of the stress busters that have made life easier for me. That one incident of sweating it out in the bathroom to clean my shirt taught me a very important lesson in life. The lesson to "Soak No More in Tensions".