Chanakya’s Chant: A review and a contest

The recent page three type party I had attended recently? That was the book launch of Ashwin Sanghi’s second novel, Chanakya’s Chant.

Having read the first book The Rozabal Line and enjoying the fast paced historical thriller, before I had the pleasure of getting acquainted with Ashwin over Twitter, I was looking forward to reading his second book. Now, having read it, and enjoyed it, I’m going to be generous and announce a prize, no, actually ten prizes to whoever tells me what their favourite quotes from Chanakya are.

And yes, here is a review of the book. And if you have a delicious Chanakya maxim to share with me, you could win a FREE copy of the book too! Remember, I have just ten copies to give away and my decision on who wins them is final.

Chanakya’s Chant

By Ashwin Sanghi

Westland Tranquebar

This, the second novel after his debut novel the bestselling The Rozabal Line follows in the tradition set by its predecessor that of being a quick, gripping read and one that that spans epochs in time, going back in time to the age of the king maker Chanakya, who succeeded by intrigue, intellect and a drive for revenge to install Chandragupta Maurya in the throne of Magadh, and Pandit Gangasagar Misra, a humble Pandit from UP who emerges as a modern day king maker, rather queen maker, by harnessing the power of the Chanakyan chant to install his protegee, Chandini Gupta to the throne of modern day Bharat, namely the prime ministerial position in India. The narrative moves swiftly between the past and the present, with the minutae of the events that changed the course of history as compelling as the machinations of those who manipulate voter banks and broker political deals in the modern day political and business environment.

The book serves as an apt reminder that nothing in politics is left to chance, even the simplest of events have a larger motive behind them.  A historical thriller in the tradition set by The Da Vinci Code, this book is one you can race through and wonder about whether man really learns from history or whether history is condemned to keep repeating itself.

Incidentally, the spouse is a Chanakya fan. Among the many inspirational quotes he has stuck on his softboard are a few by Chanakya, and I never fail to realise how universal and timeless his axioms are. My personal favourite?

God is not present in idols. Your feelings are your god. The soul is your temple.

And that has been a principle I have carried with me over the years. God is within me. 

Go on, tell me which is your favourite Chanakyan maxim, and please, please don’t let it be about the good wife. That won’t earn you any brownie points.

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About Kiran Manral

Author of The Face At The Window, ( 2016), Karmic Kids, All Aboard (2015) , Once Upon A Crush (2014) and The Reluctant Detective (2011).
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34 Responses to Chanakya’s Chant: A review and a contest

  1. march hare says:

    “There is no austerity equal to a balanced mind and there is no happiness equal to contentment. There is no disease like covetousness and no virtue like mercy.”

    🙂

    Like

  2. Ruchira says:

    Aha – Chankya – a man I have read and admired for a long time …
    Here is my favorite quote:
    [There is no austerity equal to a balanced mind, and there is no happiness equal to contentment; there is no disease like covetousness, and no virtue like mercy.]
    I particularly like the first part – there is no austerity equal to a balanced mind ! I try to live by this maxim in my life !

    Like

    • Ruchira says:

      ohh dear ! someones already quoted that one –
      Here is another favourite –
      [Do not reveal what you have thought upon doing, but by wise council keep it secret being determined to carry it into execution]

      Like

  3. I agree. My personal fav. are:

    Even if a snake is not poisonous, it should pretend to be venomous.

    The fragrance of flowers spreads only in the direction of the wind. But the goodness of a person spreads in all direction.

    Like

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  5. manisha says:

    thank you for being the reason for my reading this:
    “women have hunger two fold, shyness four fold, daring six fold, and lust eight fold as compared to men”
    we had some pretty interesting women folk in them olden times 😉

    Like

  6. Meera says:

    These are my favorites:

    The serpent, the king, the tiger, the stinging wasp, the small child, the dog owned by other people, and the fool: these seven ought not to be awakened from sleep.

    Treat your kid like a darling for the first five years. For the next five years, scold them. By the time they turn sixteen, treat them like a friend. Your grown up children are your best friends.

    Like

  7. Ratzzz says:

    There are two favorite’s of mine. First one is already quoted by Sandeep Balan. So the next fav 🙂

    “Just as a calf goes to its mother, seeking her out from among thousands of cows, so every action follows the doer.”

    Like

  8. Simran says:

    Great contest and the reward is super exciting!

    My favourites –

    1) “There is some self-interest behind every friendship. There is no friendship without self-interests. This is a bitter truth.” – One might say no this ain’t true for all my friends but look at it this way – we like being with our best/good friends coz they make us happy and feel good about ourselves! The feel-good factor is a self interest too.

    2)”Before you start some work, always ask yourself three questions – Why am I doing it, What the results might be and Will I be successful. Only when you think deeply and find satisfactory answers to these questions, go ahead.” – I for one need to practise this before I put my hands into anything new.

    Like

  9. Sue says:

    Not entering the competition, but LOL does this mean you did not appreciate the Writers Workshop postcard on good wives I gave you?? 😛

    Like

    • Kiran Manral says:

      Sue, that was a totally lovely good wife quote. This quote by Chanakya, well I have major issues with it. Though it does make sense, I must admit grudgingly.

      Like

  10. uncannybal says:

    We should not fret for what is past, nor should we be anxious about the future; men of discernment deal only with the present moment.
    Chanakya

    As soon as the fear approaches near, attack and destroy it.
    Chanakya

    Like

  11. JLT says:

    “A person should not be too honest. Straight trees are cut first and Honest people are screwed first.”
    I’d do well to remember this occasionally….
    He was brilliant, wasn’t he?

    Like

  12. Lakshmi says:

    “Books are as useful to a stupid person as a mirror is useful to a blind person” – Chanakya.

    So true, no?

    Like

  13. pvs says:

    He who lives in our mind is near though he may actually be far away; but he who is not in our heart is far though he may really be nearby.

    –I believe in this

    Like

  14. Shripad says:

    As soon as the fear approaches near, attack and destroy it.

    Like

  15. Pallavi says:

    1) A man is great by deeds, not by birth.

    2) If one has a good disposition, what other virtue is needed? If a man has fame, what is the value of other ornamentation?

    3) Once you start a working on something, don’t be afraid of failure and don’t abandon it. People who work sincerely are the happiest.

    4) The world’s biggest power is the youth and beauty of a woman.

    Like

  16. Beena says:

    My favorite quotes

    1 – Two of his quotes combined below

    The world’s biggest power is the youth and beauty of a woman.

    PLUS

    Education is the best friend. An educated person is respected everywhere. Education beats the beauty and the youth.

    Equals my summary – Education is world’s best power.

    2 – Do not reveal what you have thought upon doing, but by wise council keep it secret being determined to carry it into execution.
    ( Branding copmanies and other corporates can learn from this – right ?)

    3 – Whores don’t live in company of poor men, citizens never support a weak company and birds don’t build nests on a tree that doesn’t bear fruits.

    Like

  17. Shripad says:

    Test a servant while in the discharge of his duty, a relative in difficulty, a friend in adversity, and a wife in misfortune.

    Before you start some work, always ask yourself three questions – Why am I doing it, What the results might be and Will I be successful. Only when you think deeply and find satisfactory answers to these questions, go ahead.

    As gold is tested in four ways by rubbing, cutting, heating and beating — so a man should be tested by these four things: his renunciation, his conduct, his qualities and his actions.

    Learning is like a cow of desire. It, like her, yields in all seasons. Like a mother, it feeds you on your journey. Therefore learning is a hidden treasure.

    Like

  18. Pramila Payal says:

    Before you start some work, always ask yourself three questions – Why am I doing it, what the results might be and will I be successful. Only when you think deeply and find satisfactory answers to these questions, go ahead.

    Like

  19. Pramila Payal says:

    oops!someone else had given this, here’s another one-
    The biggest guru-mantra is: never share your secrets with anybody. It will destroy you.

    Like

  20. shivani singh says:

    A person should not be too honest. Straight trees are cut first and honest people are screwed first.

    Like

  21. shivani singh says:

    As a single withered tree, if set aflame, causes a whole forest to burn, so does a rascal son destroy a whole family.:D

    Like

  22. Pramila Payal says:

    The four greatest enemies of a man are – the father who has taken a loan, the characterless mother, the beautiful but promiscuous wife and the stupid child.

    Like

  23. Hey!, just wanted to inform you about a blogger’s contest at indusladies.com. I have tagged you.you can get the details from the site or my blog.All the best!

    Like

  24. Kiran Manral says:

    Thanks everyone for commenting and participating. The contest is now closed, the winners, you know who you are, please do let me know over email when you receive your copies. Happy reading.

    Like

    • uncannybal says:

      Dont be a coward. Tell us who won so we can see which quotes you liked the best

      Like

      • Kiran Manral says:

        Strange you should call me a coward when you didnot respond to my mail informing you that you had won. Announcing the names was meant to be a post I was to put up in the course of the day.

        Like

    • uncannybal says:

      Sorry. The mail had gone into the ‘junk’ folder. Have pulled it out and sent you the address

      Thnx !

      Like

  25. Kiran Manral says:

    Anyway, seeing as some folk are frothing at the mouth, here go the list of winners. 11. Yes.

    Lakshmi
    Books are as useful to a stupid person as a mirror is useful to a blind person.

    Beena
    Whores don’t live in company of poor men, citizens never support a weak company and birds don’t build nests on a tree that doesn’t bear fruits

    Uncannybal
    We should not fret for what is past, nor should we be anxious about the future; men of discernment deal only with the present moment.

    JLT
    A person should not be too honest. Straight trees are cut first and Honest people are screwed first.

    Simran
    There is some self-interest behind every friendship. There is no friendship without self-interests. This is a bitter truth.

    PVS
    He who lives in our mind is near though he may actually be far away; but he who is not in our heart is far though he may really be nearby.

    Ratzzz
    Just as a calf goes to its mother, seeking her out from among thousands of cows, so every action follows the doer

    Meera
    The serpent, the king, the tiger, the stinging wasp, the small child, the dog owned by other people, and the fool: these seven ought not to be awakened from sleep.

    Manisha
    women have hunger two fold, shyness four fold, daring six fold, and lust eight fold as compared to men.

    Sandeep Balan
    Even if a snake is not poisonous, it should pretend to be venomous.

    March Hare
    There is no austerity equal to a balanced mind and there is no happiness equal to contentment. There is no disease like covetousness and no virtue like mercy.

    Like

    • uncannybal says:

      Even if a snake is not poisonous, it should pretend to be venomous.
      Second that.
      ‘Frothing at the mouth’ helps.
      Thnx for the list 🙂

      Like

  26. Writerzblock says:

    I did want to participate, but after Googling, I found a lot of his quotes very chauvinistic and anti-women, so that put me off!! Sigh! I’ll just have to wait for the next contest to be announced!

    Like

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