One look at the Reference at the back of the book detailing the Reading List of the author and the reader gets a clear view from where the confounded theory, around which the entire novel pivots, germinates. Undoubtedly the list is elaborate and impressive. So is the theory complex and far- fetched. It appears that the author has mashed up all the information available with him and made out a postulate which becomes less and less palatable as the book progresses.
Notwithstanding the convoluted premise, Keepers Of The Kaalchakra, the fifth in Bharat Series, penned by the Dan Brown of India, one and only Ashwin Sanghi is racy, edge-of-the-seat, gripping, in short, unputdownable.
Vijay Sundaram, an erudite IIT Professor, is compelled by an elite intelligence group. SG4, to join a strictly guarded research outfit called the Milesian Lab for reasons unknown. Within the cordoned premises of Milesian Lab, Sundaram comes in as much close proximity as possible with his mysteriously cagey colleague named Mikhailov who has the key to the Lab’s secret mission. But before he can confide in Vijay, Mikhailov is caught trespassing beyond the boundaries of the Lab. Vijay, on the other hand, egged by SG4, takes up the dangerous assignment of breaking into the office of the detestable Lab honcho, Schmidt. But by the time he could lay hands on what exactly is going on inside the Lab the trap closes in on him. Had Vijay known that the entire game plan is to remove him from the face of this earth would he have joined Milesian Lab?
Based on the theory of quantum twin particle, Sanghi extends the thesis to human species. As is his habit to brew a zealous concoction out of zillion spices, Sanghi touches upon complex issues pertaining to the blurry intersecting zones of Science and Religion. From Supreme Consciousness to Self-Healing, from Tantric Buddhism to Vedantic wisdom, from Machiavellian politics to extra sensory spiritual realization, from Islamic fundamentalism to moderation in Muslim extremism, Sanghi struggles copiously to prove his self-proclaimed doctrine of interconnectedness of everything.
It is difficult to review Sanghi as he brings in a myriad of hypotheses to assert what readers would well-nigh like to believe in not without outreaching the bounds of plausible explanations. Yet, Sanghi presents an alternate arena wherein till his entry laid a vacuum of incalculable depth. He has actually, with his Bharat Series, embarked upon a crusade which is nothing less than extortion of imagination by his expostulations which are so adorably fantastic, so impossibly believable and so confoundedly beyond the bounds of credulity. I suppose therein lies his overdriving skill which has given India its first taste of mythological thrillers. However, with the Keepers Of The Kaalchakra, one is doubtful whether the author is now gravitating into the deepening grey realm of scientific spiritualism or making a more pointed statement in the formidable sphere of today’s chaotic world politics.
With the 5th in the series, there is definite improvement in so far as the goriness of the plot is concerned. The violence quotient is toned down. The information overload is much in the nature of discourses between characters at the most improbable juncture where the readers would have expected page turning action. While the women of substance take a back seat in this novel, I wonder why the author always paints them in the palette of grisly shades.
Nonetheless, all said and done, Sanhgi is a Sanghi is a Sanghi. Here is a book which is, unlike the present trend, not written for the whole and sole purpose of celluloid adaptation. Here is a book for readers. Highly incredulous yet incorrigibly tempting.
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