Chanakya’s Chant

The mantra written above holds vital importance throughout the novel. It starts and ends with this mantra. The novel is a well-paced thriller penned by the renowned novelist, Ashwin Sanghi. Set in two different eras, a common plot binds the storyline.

In 340 BC, a lesser known teacher called Kautilya (later known as Chanakya) had defied all the odds to dethrone a powerful ruler of Magadha and instil a mere shepherd Chandragupta as the king of Bharat (later known as India). It is a well-known fact that he thrived on opportunities and situations thrown at him and made the tides turn in his favour. He made use of situations as well as people to achieve his objective.

Similarly, it is assumed that the other plot is drawn in the present day, where a lesser-known Brahmin teacher named Gangasagar uses the Chanakya Niti to instil a lower caste girl called Chandni as the Prime Minister of India. While the focus remains of Chandragupta Maurya and Chandni in the parallelly running plots, the heroes of the respective eras have to be Chanakya and Gangasagar who make use of opportunities and at times even create events to create opportunities. They use popularly known Sanskrit saying Saam, Daam, Dand, Bhed which means Reconciliation, Bribe, Punishment, Division respectively in order to achieve their objectives.

Of course, some of the strategies used by the kingmakers to achieve the goals can be termed as dastardly as well as unsporting (like the usage of women as mere pawns), but that only adds the thrill element to this novel. It is very hard to find out the flaws in this novel which actually makes this novel worth reading every page.

My Verdict

This book has ample reasons to fall in love with history lessons. The author makes the plot sound realistic by not using clichés to unravel the story further. Get ready to brush up your history. If you are craving for a pacy thriller to make you feel surprised then this book is worth a read.

P.S. It is advisable to read the book in order to know the motive behind the Sanskrit chant written on the top of the post.

Peace, Poetry and Power

Bhavin Shah