Books

History meets thrill

ON A THRILLING NOTE Ashwin Sanghi  

Taking a period from history, adding a dollop of mythology and a generous portion of thrill, author Ashwin Sanghi has the perfect recipe for a historical crime thriller. After the success of The Rosabel Line and Chanakya’s Chant, he is ready with his third book The Krishna Key. Talking about the book, he says, “I wanted to do a story in connection with the Mahabharata, but not retelling of the epic which has already been done.”

Keeping the elements of a thriller fiction, the writer has explored the life of Krishna giving it a historical perspective. He explains that most of the Indian mythological figures have been achievers in their period and over time were given the status of deities.

He believes that the Mahabharata as a complete work of fiction is a presumption as there are clues that point out that there are some events that have occurred during the period.

“According to Kalki Purana, Kalki is the 10 th avatar of Vishnu who is yet to come on earth. My book is based on a man who thinks he is a reincarnation of Krishna and can change the degeneration of the world. But his means are not at all benevolent,” he says. The story will take the readers to the ancient world of Dwarka, the Somnath temple, Vrindavan and all the other places which have been associated with Krishna.

Getting the historical facts correct could be a challenge; however, the author says that researching for his book was not tough as there is wealth of material for reference. “Professor S.R. Rao had conducted an under water exploration on the coast of Dwarka and have found the remains of an ancient city, there are four books on the subject. Narahari Achar has worked on astronomical dating of some of the events of the Mahabharata and Subhash Kak has worked on the scientific advances done during the period,” says Ashwin Sanghi listing out some of his sources.

Whether it is the brutish character of Taarak Vakil or that of the historian Ravi Mohan Saini, it is not the characters but the plot in itself that drives the author.

“I don’t start with the characters. I start with the series of events that will provide the conflict and how it can be resolved. Characters are incidental,” he says. Despite being a crime thriller he points out that his characters are not all black or white. Even the serial killer in the book has a human side.

Dealing with historical conspiracies and theories, comparison with authors like Dan Brown or Irwing Wallace is bound to happen. But Ashwin Sanghi explains all forms of contemporary fiction falls under seven styles of writing. For a thriller fiction he says, “There has to be a protagonist who has to overcome challenges and there will be a race to finish. The pattern is the same but how the story unfolds and is revealed is what makes the difference.”

Flitting between a modern setting and the ancient period, he promises that there is a change in momentum after every three or four pages. “Each chapter starts with a nugget from Krishnna’s life so that the readers have a ‘aha’ moment when reading in the modern context,” he says. However, he rules out any possibility of a sequel.

The book The Krishna Key will be available in the book stores from August 24 onwards.


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Printable version | Oct 21, 2021 8:01:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/books/history-meets-thrill/article3734207.ece

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