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.
By Ashwin Sanghi
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.