Monday, 25 April 2016

The Sialkot Saga - Ashwin Sanghi

'When it’s a question of money, everybody is of the same religion.' The Sialkot Saga, Ashwin Sanghi's latest book after his successful The Krishna Key, where he established himself as an Indian Dan Brown. In his new book, again, there's a quest of an ancient secret, but that doesn't take the center focus in this book. This book is about two individuals Arvind and Arbaaz, about their rise and rise in their status, about their conflict and something which connects them.

This books starts in Amritsar during that period of partition between India and Pakistan, in a railway station where a constable saves a small boy from the piles of dead body in that last train which traveled from Sialkot. And, we shift to king Ashoka's court where they talk about choosing a person to preserve a secret and he should also select his successor. So, this secret travels through different periods and different kingdoms.

Arvind, son of  a businessman from Calcutta, whose sole aim is to get rich and become a top one richest men in India. He only thinks about how to make money. Arvind plays smart and earns a lot of money, he cons many big businessman on the way. He easily deceives many tycoons and make them invest in his lies and leaves them without a trace. He becomes so successful in this game and rises to one of the most wanted businessman of India. On the other hand, he had a love failure, his high school sweetheart leaves his to become an actor in Bollywood. Then, he marries a different girl and becomes a father of twins. This whole Arvind episode reminds me of movie Guru.

Arbaaz, son of a poor man, who loses his father early and forced to work. Arbaaz's sole aim is also money. He joins a small time thief, Raju, then with the local don Abdul Dada. He rises the ladder among the Abdul Dada's men and becomes his most trusted one and eventually becomes successor. During his days with Abdul Dada, he does everything, including murder. And, again he uses his tricks to get back on people and to get things done. After Abdul Dada's death he joins politics and he becomes one of the most important player in Indian politics. And, this part is, we have seen in many of our don movies.

Both Arvind and Arbaaz's target is always money. They are completely opposite to each other. Arvind is a Hindu, Arbaaz is a Muslim, which is very obvious by their name. Arvind supports BJP where Arbaaz joins congress. Arvind just plays with his business mind and tricks to earn where Arbaaz goes to any level. Arvind is from a rich background, where Arbaaz isn't. Arvind is educated, unfortunately Arbaaz couldn't afford it. But, both their lines cross each other several times. Arvind's high-school sweetheart, Paromita, who becomes a famous Bollywood heroine end up as Arbaaz's wife. Arvind and Arbaaz cons each other in many deals throughout their life. However, they end up doing business together and even become relatives. And, both of them are not entirely bad people.

I liked the way Ashwin Sanghi connected each and every important event in Indian history with Arvind's or Arbaaz's life. Each and every event plays some role in their life and it was fascinating. And, not just event in India, but also 9/11 attack in America as well. It's interesting to know about India's political history as well through Arvind and Arbaaz's life. And, it features some of the well-known faces fictionally, especially Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Even Steve Jobs does a cameo here. Among others were Modi, Dawood Ibrahim, etc. So, Ashwin Sanghi has done enough research before writing his book.

This book also tells us how easy to bend the rules in our country if you know right men and have enough money. It also talks about share market trading, where some of them wasn't quite clear to me, but gives some insight. But, really hates his stereotype usage of lunghiwala while talking about a guy from Tamil Nadu. For God's sake "Lungi dance" is really not about people down south.

Towards the end, we get to know why Sialkot plays important role here. And, it also ends with much surprising note related to immortality and a connection between Arvind and Arbaaz. The ancient secret which was passed on for generations from Ashoka empire is about immortality and Arvind and Arbaaz somehow ends up working towards that.

The Sialkot Saga was an interesting read, it's more of politics, business, betrayal, rivalry, heartbreaks and less of quest for ancient secret. It's really well played by Ashwin Sanghi, easy to follow and provides interesting twists and turns. A very good follow up to his "The Krishna Key."

No comments:

Post a Comment