An Interview with Ashwin Sanghi – Author of “Krishna Key”


Tuesday 25th 2013 became a memorable day, when religious expansionism faced tough challenges from spiritual corporatization & networking. The prophets became the CEOs of their respective religious organisations and adopted the win-win mode of working. Internet eventually paved the way for collaborative spiritual dialogues where people can share their exclusive ideas freely and openly. In short, Gods have come online…

Rashma Kalsiki shares this innovative via her latest book Ohh! Gods Are Online. It is a work of fiction, where Gods are taking birth in wretched families and miracles don’t happen with them. Three different gods: Christian God Jesus Christ, Hindu God Krishn, and Buddhist God Buddha have came to earth as a commoner to heal the wounds of real commoners. The Srishti publication has shown its trust in the innovative yet risky idea of Research. And, here we are to launch this innovative book with the eminent professor of Delhi University Professor Bharat Gupt. Dr. Gupt shared the basic idea of branching, localization, anti-expansionism, and virtualization of legendry gods. Surprisingly, the book is co-authored by an Englishmen called Phill Cherry aka John Diction. John lives continents far and contributed for the book through Internet. In this wonderful seminar, people of different religious & spiritual ideologies discussed the philosophies of religions & requirements to strengthening humanity in every human being. The author, Dr. Gupt, and Publisher Arup Bose answered to some valid questions of Hues of a Soul Team.

Q: You are a businessman professionally so how do you manage to keep your flame of creativity illuminated?

A: Actually, having a day job in a dreary business is the perfect reason to push one into a creative pursuit. I work Monday to Friday, forty hours per week. When I get home from work, I am relieved to retire to my study and get lost in my fictional world of fantasy, mythology, history and conspiracy. If I were to ever stop working, my writing would become my work… that is a scary thought indeed.

Q: What was your first ever fiction and how much that influenced you?

A: My first novel was a book called The Rozabal Line. I wrote it in 2005 after a visit to the Rozabal shrine in Kashmir. The popular folklore around the tomb was that Jesus Christ had survived the crucifixion and lay buried in Rozabal. I was utterly fascinated with the story and decided to research it extensively. My future books—Chanakya’s Chant as well as The Krishna Key—have both been heavily influenced by my fascination for tantalizing research and conspiracy theories.

Q: How do you define the success of a Novelist?

A:Success consists of different strokes for different folks. I always wanted to be widely read. It wasn’t about earning millions… it was always about being read by thousands of ordinary people. With the terrific sales volumes that my last three books have achieved, I am more than happy with the results. To that extent, I see myself as successful. But I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep…
I have always loved writing about characters that have shades of grey.

Q: ‘The Krishna Key’ is your third novel, what keeps you motivated?

A: I think that I am intrinsically a storyteller. I have always loved ‘spinning yarns’… it’s just that I never knew that I could earn a living out of it! I am always in search of the next great story. It is the eternal quest for the next earth-shattering premise that keeps my creative juices flowing.

Q: How do you feel when people compare you with Dan Brown, even when you don’t copy him?

A: At last count, Dan Brown’s books had been translated into 52 languages, and as of 2012, his books had cumulatively sold over 200 million copies. I am rather flattered by the comparison, even if it is misplaced.

Q: Do you think your titles especially ‘The Krishna Key’ will help Indian youngsters to solve their puzzles behind Indian rituals and mythologies?

A: The Krishna Key is a work of fiction and should be read as such. It does not claim to be a scholarly work and hence I would refrain from using it as a guide to our mythology or theology. I have, however, found that the easiest way to bring many lost aspects of our culture or civilization to light is simply by bringing these elements into the realm of popular discussion. Commercial fiction is one route. I always entertain the hope that there will be readers who will use the novel as a starting point before embarking on research of their own.

Q: What are the challenges faced during in-depth research for your recent novel “The Krishna Key”. What were your motivations and roadmap? Your answer will be helpful to young writers.

A: My biggest challenge was the fact that I did not understand Sanskrit. To that extent I had to depend on translations. The second big challenge in researching this sort of material is to distinguish scholarly research from propaganda. The final challenge was to map the research in a manner such that the average reader would not be overwhelmed with the breadth and depth of the information presented.

Q: What motivated you to choose Krishna as protagonist and given a grey shade that was a bit risky in a country like India?

A: I have always loved writing about characters that have shades of grey. Krishna is the lovable cowherd of Gokul and Vrindavan but is also the ruthless strategist of the Mahabharata. He is the brave combatant who kills Kansa and numerous demons but is also the person who flees the battle from Mathura to Dwarka and gets labeled as Ranchor for the rest of his life. He is real in every sense and I can relate to the fact that he is a bundle of contradictions.

Q: Don’t you think that the Krishna Key can be more interesting with the development of Sage’s character and a conversation with sage over alchemy?

A: A novel is like a set of busy road junctions. After you have crossed the junction, you can always speculate regarding which alternative route you could have taken but it is futile. The only road that is relevant is the one that you happen to be on.

Q: What do you think about saturating Indian-Anglo literature with love stories? Is the risk of failure not stopping new writers from exploring their unique styles?

A: You have a valid point. The success of certain genres in the Indian commercial fiction space—for example mythological fiction, campus stories, teenage romances etc.—could possibly act as a deterrent for exploration of newer genres. I earnestly hope that this is not the case. When I wrote The Rozabal Line in 2006, no Indian author was exploring the fusion between history, theology, mythology and fiction. The book eventually spawned an entirely new genre. I hope that we will continue to see innovation.

Q: What is the scope of Indian fiction in international forum?

A: Indian literary fiction has already established a name and reputation for itself globally thanks to individuals like Salman Rushdie, Arundhati Roy, Vikram Seth, Kiran Desai et al. We are still not taken seriously as genre fiction writers—producers of mysteries, thrillers, crime novels, adventures, romances etc. Partly that is because our publishing industry believed that commercial fiction was best left to foreigners. During the last decade the situation has been improving and many writers of commercial fiction have emerged. As they continue to write and garner audiences, they will also find new avenues for global acceptance.

Q: What is your message to young writers and creative professionals to achieve success in literary world as you did?

A: The truth is that it’s not about how good a writer you are… it’s more about how thick-skinned you are. The necessary condition for getting an agent or publisher is to write well; the sufficient condition is to keep knocking on doors, rejection after rejection, even when you feel like giving up. Whenever you do feel like giving up, just remember that Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach was rejected 18 times; the multimillion dollar series, Chicken Soup for the Soul by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen was rejected 33 times; Carrie, Stephen King’s first horror novel was rejected 30 times; Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell was rejected 38 times… the list is endless!

It was an inspiring interview session with Krishna Key’s author Ashwin Sanghi. I am thankful to Flipitall.com for giving me the chance to interview such a literary genius.

The Ride…To Mutual Freedom


On this Diwali evening, I am endlessly chatting with her. My fingers are going numb, smartphone is going out of battery, mom is calling to take part in the Diwali Pooja but I am endlessly chatting with her. Everyone around me is curious to know about this new girlfriend of mine as I’ve just come out of a relationship and such day and night chatting give parents some signals. But she is not a love. Yea…I say this with full of conviction that I don’t love her.

Then…what’s it? She’s my fellow traveler. We work in the same organisation and never ever thought or felt like attachment or something close to love. Yet I talk to her day and night. She is not my friend nor aquitance but I some how like to talk to her though we don’t get anything to talk but we keep on laughing in all of our conversations.

She has named with a common name of girls. But I believe she should be named after a bird because she is like a little sparrow. ‘My little sparrow’, who regularly comes in early morning hours and wakes me up from my fearful dreams. She sits at my window pane and munch on her daily dose of wheat grains or rice grains. I don’t go close to my bird but I know her. She knows to me. We make eachother’s life happy with our little courtesies. But birds don’t get married and they won’t stop coming to my window pane. But my birdy dove will be out of my reach. I may not be able to travel the city with my bird. So here again comes the compulsion of holding my bird which I can’t. I am bound to fulfil some duties and carve my name on the slippery rock of time.

Whatever…I will be by her side whenever she would need me and welcome anything if something comes naturally…Happy Diwali My Readers

Book Review: Clear. Hold. Build by Sudeep Chakravarti


CHB_Sudeep_ChakravartiFor majority of educated Indians, the Corporate social responsibility stands for organizing activities like blood donation camps, funding local NGOs and organizing marathons for building a rapport with the local communities. For urban locations, such activities are enough but things change when corporate organizations go on working in the Maoist affected areas. In such areas, Corporate Social Responsibility stands for active integration with project affected communities. Such integration requires consistent positive dialog with the project affected communities with intentions of benefiting their lives. But things go completely wrong. The companies directly deals with local governments by signing MoUs. In return, governments acts as the corporate will while distancing themselves from the project affected communities. On the other hand, the project affected communities should be convinced with the unavoidable needs of uprooting them from their needs.

In this book, the author Sudeep Chakravarti has narrated the polices that are growing the discontent of communities. Along with this, he has also highlighted the avoidable conflicts. With the groundbreaking detailed research of the author, this book is capable in guiding a company before kick starting a project in the conflict zones.

The language of the book is quite simple. If you are a reader of Sudeep Chakravarti then this book will be a treat to you. But if not then you must have the guts to digest an ocean of information.

My Experience as an Avid Reader: I liked the book for three reasons: one it pragmatically talks about the most serious internal security risk to the nation, second it makes the reader aware with all aspects of a problem, third it was my fourth book on the same subject but with different perspective.

50 Words Verdict: Clear. Hold. Build. is a perfect narrative of events that are making the matters worse. It highlights the ways of diffusing the rising tension between corporate organizations and tribal groups.

Book Review: Vishal Bhardwaj Omkara Maqbool and Haider Screen Plays trilogy


Dialogs are the first and foremost reason to read and preorder from any e-commerce site of your choice. I have always been a fan of Vishal Bhardwaj’s movies. He has portrayed what actually happens in the backdrops of his stories instead of what should happen. And, it reflects from the excellent dialogs of his films. If we talk about the most recent Haider then it has got the real kashmiri tongue. So while reading the dialogs printed in this book, you will be actually pronouncing them in the way kashmiri pronounce them. For example, the word ‘loved’ should be pronounced as luv-ěd with less pressure on E in its real sense while kashmiris pronounce loved as lovve-d. So when you will be speaking the word in your mind while reading, it will be lovve-d. So you actually ends up being the characters of these wonderful stories. And, if you are a fan of the great actors like Shahid Kapoor, irrfan Khan, Pankaj Kapoor, Om Puri, Naseeruddin Shah, Piyush Mishra and know how they say a certain word then you can not imagine how much fun you are going to draw from these books.  It gives you the freedom to savour the taste of few dialogs at once instead of swallowing the whole movie. It’s like son papdi from HaldiRam shop.

Now, I should come to the other aspects of the screenplay. The scenes of the movies are well introduced. Description are available in English. Moreover, the dialogs are also translated in English so if you don’t understand few words then their translations can be referred.

This book set also holds some more reasons like the real stories related to origin of these films. Vishal Bhardwaj has written the preface for all three books talking about the intense pain and joy he took in making of these films.

Pictures…yes some really symbolical pictures have been selected from the respective movies and embedded in the books. So, you kinda feel watching the movie while reading these pages.

Why I loved the book: Well, I loved reading the local lingua of Kashmir, Meerut and Mumbai. While reading Maqbool dialogs, I got the glimpse of Surendra Mohan Pathak for once but then it has been quite balanced so that non marathi audience can also enjoy the dialogs and feel the intensity of Maqbool characters. I think this is the excellence of Vishal Bhardwaj Sir. You can take any movie from his basket and be rational with their contradictory actions. You can even be rational with the needs of Madaam of Saat Khoon Maaf and Ghazala of Haider or Nimmi of Maqbool.

50 Words Verdict: The book set carrying original screenplays of Omkara, Maqbool and Haider is a must have book for art lover. If you have any interest in real life stories then go on buying this book set. It’s precious.

Book Review: Vishal Bhardwaj Omkara Maqbool and Haider Screen Plays trilogy


Dialogs are the first and foremost reason to read and preorder from any e-commerce site of your choice. I have always been a fan of Vishal Bhardwaj’s movies. He has portrayed what actually happens in the backdrops of his stories instead of what should happen. And, it reflects from the excellent dialogs of his films. If we talk about the most recent Haider then it has got the real kashmiri tongue. So while reading the dialogs printed in this book, you will be actually pronouncing them in the way kashmiri pronounce them. For example, the word ‘loved’ should be pronounced as luv-ěd with less pressure on E in its real sense while kashmiris pronounce loved as lovve-d. So when you will be speaking the word in your mind while reading, it will be lovve-d. So you actually ends up being the characters of these wonderful stories. And, if you are a fan of the great actors like Shahid Kapoor, irrfan Khan, Pankaj Kapoor, Om Puri, Naseeruddin Shah, Piyush Mishra and know how they say a certain word then you can not imagine how much fun you are going to draw from these books.  It gives you the freedom to savour the taste of few dialogs at once instead of swallowing the whole movie. It’s like son papdi from HaldiRam shop.

Now, I should come to the other aspects of the screenplay. The scenes of the movies are well introduced. Description are available in English. Moreover, the dialogs are also translated in English so if you don’t understand few words then their translations can be referred.

This book set also holds some more reasons like the real stories related to origin of these films. Vishal Bhardwaj has written the preface for all three books talking about the intense pain and joy he took in making of these films.

Pictures…yes some really symbolical pictures have been selected from the respective movies and embedded in the books. So, you kinda feel watching the movie while reading these pages.

Why I loved the book: Well, I loved reading the local lingua of Kashmir, Meerut and Mumbai. While reading Maqbool dialogs, I got the glimpse of Surendra Mohan Pathak for once but then it has been quite balanced so that non marathi audience can also enjoy the dialogs and feel the intensity of Maqbool characters. I think this is the excellence of Vishal Bhardwaj Sir. You can take any movie from his basket and be rational with their contradictory actions. You can even be rational with the needs of Madaam of Saat Khoon Maaf and Ghazala of Haider or Nimmi of Maqbool.

50 Words Verdict: The book set carrying original screenplays of Omkara, Maqbool and Haider is a must have book for art lover. If you have any interest in real life stories then go on buying this book set. It’s precious.

I Traveled Kingslanding


game-of-thronesI traveled a land, where young princes are seeing man dying for deserting his ranks,
wolf cubs are being shoved from heights for secret love in kins,
little ladies are wearing Valerian steel blades as fins,
Vile lords are defying their forefathers noble genes,
I traveled kingslanding…

I traveled a land where ancient beasts are taking rebirth for new wars,
armies are marching to the stars,
Old warriors are seeing coming new wars,
Kids fights are leaving lasting scars,
I traveled Kingslanding…

I traveled a land where imps are outwitting old masters,
protector of realm is being beheaded as a traitor,
little ladies are seeing her father falling as feathers,
Ice like edges of valerian steel are setting new wars,
I traveled to kingslanding…

I travelled where a young wolf is sharpening his claws,
halfman is leading armies of great warriors in great wars,
Sisters are sending death to their brothers,
Black powers are assassinating a young ruler,

I traveled a land where kings are dying like flies,
Mother is seeing her son dying like a sheep,
Little ladies are stabbing king Slayers,
Highborn lady’s flower is blossoming,
I traveled Kingslanding…

Why Can’t We Write Our Own Game of Thrones


GAME-OF-THRONESWell Game of Thrones doesn’t require introduction but a large share of Indian Hollywood movie goers haven’t seen this spectacular HBO TV miniseries. It is a beautiful adaptation of the epic fantasy book the song of Ice and fire written by R R Martin. The game of thrones literally takes you in the world of sword fighting, scheming, back stabbing and man to man wars. When you reach in the Kingslanding, you actually become a part of that world. There are seven kingdoms to rule so everyone is fighting eachother. Enough has been said about Game of Thrones. You can just Google and some dedicated blogs will pop up. So I am going ahead to convey what I felt after watching the series.

It’s an epic. It’s spectacular. It’s great but I questioned myself after finishing the series that our Indian society also holds such historical backdrops, where we can give something better to this world. But at large we have not given any such thing to the world.

The God Connection
If I try to remember than I think Amish Tripathi has done something in this genre but than he linked it to lord shiva. The moment we link anything to god. The book become sacred and went out of practice. Literally, we have Ramayana, Mahabharat, and many other great books but they all are sacred. None can question them. So when I come to know that Amish Tripathi’s book is going to be adapted by Karan Johar in the film Shuddi, I was like happy but common movie goers told me about the film as bhagwan shiv k upar Ek novel hai us par film ban rahi hai jisme Ranbeer Singh Kaam kar rha hai. The perception about the film shocked me.

The Market Issue
It’s very important for the authors to sell books. And Indian audience love reading about love and give little thought to genres like thriller and fantasy. If you visit a bookstore the large majority of books will belong to college romance and office romance. So, it requires a great amount of courage to work on any such project.

Peace of Mind and Patience
Finally, I think the creation of such an epic requires peace of mind and patience and our generation lacks both. So, it becomes impossible to do such things. Still I am earnestly looking for the epic fantasy novels written by Indian writers…

Happy blogging friends…