Published by Leadstart, Chanakya: Artha by Arnab Talukdar is a beautifully penned down historical novel set during the era of BC. As much can be grasped from its title, indeed it is one of the best books on history’s most famous economist Chanakya. Well, Chanakya was a perfect strategist and a war planner too. This novel explores these two virtues of this great figure in detail – with stories accompanied.
The novel is about Chanakya vs. Alexander the Great. The former gets the news of advancement of the latter. Chanakya knows that Alexander is a strong invader who has almost won the all West and some part of East and India is on his line of vision. Chanakya with other set of characters plans to tackle him. But his biggest concern is the fragmented kingdoms of Bharat. The novel is backdropped against some prominent kingdoms like Pauravyan, Magadha Empire, Kalinga, etc. A lot of action and drama unfolds while Chanakya and his favourite student Bhadrabutt roam about the villages and streets of Bharat to find clues about internal unity.
The novel runs over 500 pages and offers a saga-like experience. There are sweeping details of characters, wars, landscapes, and most important exact culture of that era. The book houses 28 chapters, full of history and legends like Chanakya and Bhadrabutt. In a historical book like this a gamut of characters were needed to bring life in all eventful situations and circumstances. Author Arnab builds a credible story of history, facts, and stats. He must have done a thorough research before plunging into the abyss of ancient history. It’s a must read for regular historical readers and a good novel to start among new pickers.
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About the Author:
Arnab Talukder was born in Gujarat in 1998. He has since then, moved from Jamnagar to Gurgaon, from Gurgaon to Kuwait and finally from Kuwait to London. Throughout it all, he kept a keen interest in Hinduism and Indian culture. However, this diminished over time as there were better sources and curriculums at school regarding Roman or Greek history. Philosophy and religious studies were tailored to primarily Christian and Islamic theology. Over time he chose Philosophy along with Maths, Further Maths, Physics and Geography at A-Levels. Throughout the entire time he felt lacking since he didn’t command the confidence that he did in Christian or Islamic theology as in his religion of Hinduism. While staying at his aunt’s house in Bangalore he came across the Arthashastra, being bored during a blackout he started reading it. It was exactly what he wanted, no long contradictory hymns of the Rig Vedas, no over the top reverence of the Bhagavad Gita. Just a concise, albeit large, treatise on ancient Hindu states. With more and more analysis he started working on a story at the end of his first year of university. Continuing to do this throughout his Physics degree he also did more philosophy and theology at the university alongside Physics. Gaining valuable insight into things such as how important visions were in ancient Mesopotamia, which was also the case in ancient Hinduism. He discussed the contents of the Arthashastra with his maternal grandfather who had worked in the PWD in India his entire life. As expected, his grandfather stated that things were far better then, than they are now. Spending more time with his grandfather he realised who he wanted to thank for humouring the mundane topics such as how roads should be built. His grandfather passed away before the completion of the book however.