Author: Timeri N. Murari
Publisher: Aleph Book Company
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Chanakya Returns tells the story of Chanakya, the modern day reincarnation of Chandragupta Maurya’s Chanakya and his machinations which brings the downfall of a modern day empire, not very dissimilar to the downfall of King Nanda’s Empire.
Author Timeri N. Murari gives you an insider’s perspective on the political power plays between a father and his daughter through an extremely well written narrative filled with intense characters. Avanti is the typical kid of a rich and powerful father and a timid and contrite mother, who is accustomed to the life of worldly pleasures. She is drawn to her father’s enigma, a consequence of his power, wealth and conniving character, without realizing the darker secrets behind his enigma. Chanakya, a victim of Avanti’s dad’s antics, has long sought revenge and finds Avanti his perfect pawn for his intentions. Thus, begins a series of events embroiled in love, betrayals and politics that forms the plot.
The author amazes me. He carefully entwines the story around Chanakya’s calculative mind. The protagonist, Chanakya, is eloquently devious, instilling seeds of ideas and playing around with the minds of the others so subtly that it seems like their original idea. He is a patient man who has waited for his turn for a long time, carefully plotting his plans in the mean time. Avanti is not very likable, be it her immature, father-idolizing, spoilt-to-the-bone self or the grown woman who disappoints the readers expecting her to grow up to a bold, honest politician. Shakuntala, who tries hard to prevent her daughter from following her father’s footsteps and fails miserably, has been portrayed as the typical unhappy wife who cannot stop hoping for her husband’s dawn of realization on right and wrong. All other characters that make their short lived appearances add their own flavor to this story.
It did feel a little slow in the beginning but the plot picks up at its own pace. Certain scenes like the guy with the suitcase seem unnecessary, prolonging the narrative. The political scenario is a clear reflection of the current Indian politics. The tribal rebels, the mining that would erase thousands of acres of Forests and its inhabitants and people’s woes are a little close to one’s home and you get to see the perspectives of the various people involved. It truly makes you ache for a just ruler. Read this book not just for a fine story but also to gain your own perspective on today’s politics.
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