49/100 of The Sialkot Saga – Ashwin Sanghi
After reading his earlier three works almost back to back and loving them too, I had to finish his latest book too and I am shocked by what I read. His earlier books were fantastic (Only the first one “The Rozabal Line” was good but not great), totally loved the “Chanakyas Chant” and the “The Krishna Key” – were able to keep me glued hanging over to race to the ending. Current book – he has actually picked up a subject which was kind of beyond him or he picked up too much stuff that he wasn’t able to adjust somehow. Unbelievable that he was earlier compared with the likes of Dan Brown and all. The book is spread over almost 60 odd years, starting from India’s partition in two (later three) countries. Throughout the narration it has that “been there done that” feel as he has almost roped in everything from Nehru’s death, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira and Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination, India’s cricket world cup victory, Sachin’s entry, Bhopal Gas leak, making of BJP, Babri Masjid, Mumbai attacks of 1993, USA 9/11, Mumbai 26/11 and what not. Imagine two of the leads who are arch business rivals and no awards for guessing that one is Hindu whereas other is a Muslim go through all those episodes here and there passing through in their lives (read 50 years), till finally they actually criss cross each other leading to a lackluster finale. The book was never able to keep me gripped unfortunately I have never left a book midways so kindda finished it with a predictable ending. After a couple of above mentioned episodes I realized he is going to make those things keep coming every 10 odd pages to keep the readers interest going but it becomes a little too much. I will call it a dead bore and a big turn off. Way way lower then my expectations from him.