The Krishna Key By Ashwin Sanghi is engaging enough to be called a page turner, at times. The inter-weaving of the oft told Lord Krishna story and the murder ‘mystery’ make it ‘different’–impressive to begin with, too much to take in, at times, for, we’ve all grown up seeing umpteen movies, tele-serials and all that about Krishna, the butter-stealing God ‘of love’, not to mention the illustrated rendering by way of comics and books and narrations! Though the narration holds its own to an extent, being a first person narration.
The exploits of Ravi Mohan Saini and Priya create a some thrill in places, though they keep bringing forth Bollywood style mini plots, pulling it down to that level, especially with episodes like disguising in burqas! Please! There could have been better antics! The platform TC ‘glancing at their tickets and waving them through disinterestedly’ can only be digested only in the name of the all-pervasive ‘lax’ image of the government employees in the country. The spoilers such as the SMS “will proceed with plan tomorrow” give away and steal off some element of the ‘suspense’, that isn’t strong enough anyways, given the seasoning of minds with enough of such stuff courtesy Bollywood!
By the time of the second murder the story line becomes predictable, that the Saini is to steep deeper into the grime of murder accusations of the people mentioned to him by Varshney!
The book does bring forth some insights, such as that of the connection between combining of the seven frequencies of melody into the sound ‘Om’.
The book could have been a real thriller, as intended by the author, as promised by the introduction notes, and as expected by the reader (given all this), had there been less of explanations. The Tamil assistant sending them off ahead arouses suspicion enough that all wasn’t well aboard Radha and their finding Bhojraj dead spoke enough about the Tamil guy…the explanation about it all, later makes it a drag! And did I say, renders is even more ‘Bollywoodish’!
The amount of research that has gone into the book, be it about the mythology, archeology and so on, is quite commendable, as also the state-of-the art of the make and functionality of gadgets, vehicles etc. The author has gone to quite some lengths to furnish information and details for the benefit of the reader, and it shows in the extent of details he delves into, about the exploits and expeditions and researches and findings of the characters. The descriptions and explanations get to be too much at times, and the question answering monotonous.
The illustrations do help many a times…we could have known though, what a ‘lotus enclosed in a circle would look like!
The characters are sketched well, with their fads and fetishes. The book is a good ‘one time’ read, all in all and could have scored better with tightening of the loose ends…and with more attentive editing! Yea…Radhika is called Priya twice on page 301! That’s too glaring an error! Just like Saini being called Priya on page 389, is! There’s countless missing or wrongly used prepositions and other such errors, to begin with!
The only thing the author seems not to have lost is, reveal all his researched facts/stories/whatever, that he goes on to narrate through the characters, and tediously so! Sigh!