The Krishna Key – Why, Oh Why?

The Krishna KeyFrom a fictional tale about murder and  redemption of Christ around the legend/myth of Christ’s life in Kashmir in Rozabal Line, and mixing up Mauryan history with a modern day political thriller, Ashwin Sanghi, hailed as Desi Dan Brown, picks up another fascinating subject – Kalki, the tenth avatar of Vishnu.

Yes. The subject is fascinating enough for the genre it belongs to. The narration structure of Krishna Key, like in his previous work, moves back and forth between the age of Purana and modern day Delhi.

Though book is huge improvement from the last, though it might keep the hard-core  fans of the conspiracy theory genre entertaining. The book is overtly clichéd and over-stretched at places, and quite loud, preachy and pretentious through out, and is not coherent. Language is just ordinary. History/myth is clearly writer’s favourite plateau, and he doesn’t want to leave what he think he is good at. The story slows down a bit in the second half, and ends in fimly style.

Started with the murder of the young symbolist Anil Varshney, the story unravels how a Robert Langdonist Ravi Mohan Saini, a professor of history and mythology in St. Stephen’s college tracks the trails which involves someone who believed that he is Kalki, the tenth incarnation of the Lord.

The saga is broken with interludes from the life of Krishna. He recounts his life from the birth to his journey to Dwarka and the subsequent destruction of the kingdom.

Like his other two books, The Krishna Key as well, exhibits Ashwin Sanghi’s profound love for History and Mythology. But over obsession to Myth/History and because ‘the-genre-sells-well’ cannot be the reason for writing a book. Direct inspirations in character etching and narration style from his western counterparts, especially from Dan Brown novels, cannot be simply overlooked.

Just as where Chankya was.

This review is a part of the Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers!


Just a quick post to announce the new Home for Manch Theatre. Woohoo!

Manch is turning 8. There are a few productions in pipeline. More updates soon.

A Comedy of No Manners

Upcoming from Manch Theatre is ‘God of Carnage’, a Tony award winning comedy by Yasmina Reza. You can RSVP at the facebook event; Tickets are available at BookmyShow and Indianstage.

So, see you all there!

Carnage Teaser 1

Carnage Teaser Poster 2

Life/Wardrobe – A Social Theatre Experimental Project

There has been two primary inspirations for this: Project Unbreakable, a photography project and the play/book Love, Loss and What I Wore. And of course one of the plays I’ve staged, Ji, Jaisi Aapki Marzi.

So, here is what it is. As a woman, you have memories – good, nice, not so good, bad. Some of these memories that you associate with your wardrobe – clothes, shoes, accessories.

Some of these you have shared with your parents or friends. Some you haven’t.

Some you have always tried to bury deep down in your mind, never to resurface. Some you have always wanted to shout out from the rooftops so that the whole world can know.

Stories that evoke a smile at your face. Stories that brings back pain in your heart. Memories from home, from school, from the world around. Memories about parents, friends, strangers, about someone who touched your life.

Have you ever felt that you want to share those stories with anyone? Ever felt the need for a sympathetic ear? Have you ever wanted to share some happiness with everyone? Ever felt the need to take that pain off your chest?

Send me your stories, in writing. You can keep your identity anonymous to the world including me, choose to disclose it only to me or choose to share it with the world. I will tell your story to the world through my play.

Even if your story does not have anything to do with your wardrobe, fair enough. You can still share those with me.

A few points to note:

– You can submit your stories at the contact page or email them at riyazusman [at] gmail [dot] com. DO NOT use comments section at this post to submit your stories. You can use the comments section for your thoughts on this project though.
– I will respect your privacy. You can be anonymous, if you want to be.
– I will be more than happy to credit you on this project. But unless specifically asked to, your identity will be kept anonymous.
– But for a few generic project announcements, I will not contact you back, unless if you want to be and give me explicit permission to do so. If you allow me to be contact you back , you can mention that.
– If you want to be anonymous with me, use the name “Anonymous” and email “” to submit your stories.

Waiting for you to respond.

Who is She?

“Just out of curiosity, don’t you think people will believe you’re the girl in the picture? I’m just saying… :)”

Madalina Iordache-Levay asked me that while giving me permission to use her photograph as my display picture. I haven’t had that identity crisis much even since I started using the image as my online avatar, since 2004. Probably because I never used my real name against it. desertwind (after the then favorite Sting single, Desert Rose) was the name almost everywhere online. I picked the twitter handle riyazusman instead of desertwind, since I was late to the party, but decided to keep the avatar. Since no exponential increase in follower count was noticed, I never had thought of replacing it.

And then this happened.

PS: Answer to the question on title: The Red Hat was a series of photographs by acclaimed photographer Madalina.