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Just follow this link and you can find his books - Ashwin Sanghi Archives - Read A Lot. MyPustak has endless number of FREE BOOKS for you people to read, which can be delivered across any Where can I get a link to download ebooks?. THE SIALKOT SAGA Ashwin Sanghi ranks among India's highest-selling authors of English fiction. He has written several bestsellers (The. Ashwin Sanghi has written three bestselling novels and is one of India's highest- selling authors of English fiction.

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Chanakya's Chant. Pages·· MB·5, Downloads. Chanakya's Chant. Ashwin Sanghi's first novel, The Rozabal Line was originally published in . Chanakyas Chant Ashwin Sanghi eBook aT4S7cFL - Download as PDF File Download and Read Free Online Chanakya's Chant by Ashwin Sanghi You. Download Count to Ten ebook – From the world's #1 bestselling author comes the newest book.

Chanakya's Chant by Ashwin Sanghi Chanakya's Chant is a thrilling novel that tells its readers about a sharp parallel story between two individuals. One of these individuals is the very person who brought the scattered Indian subcontinent under the reign of Chandragupta Maurya-Chanakya. Chanakya is one of the wisest political strategists to have ever lived in the history of India. The second protagonist is Gangasagar Mishra, who is a rather insignificant Brahmin teacher, who seems to be struggling to make ends meet, but is actually a reincarnation of Chanakya himself. The author gives you an intricately woven plot that is set in two parallel worlds, but is tied together by its two protagonists, namely Chanakya and Gangasagar. Chanakya's tale, set in BC, is a tale of revenge that Chanakya seeks against the king and how he brings in Chandragupta Maurya to take over the throne.

From dozens of matchbox windows, families peered out to catch the spectacle of the mohalla below. One of the faces peering out was that of the ravenous nine-year-old Arbaaz. It was his very first Ramadan fast. On the street below, the situation was chaotic. Politicians of all hues were busy holding iftar parties to woo the Muslim electorate of the area that sweltering June. Inside the ten-by-ten room, Shabana tried her best to make their home look presentable. Ayub would be home soon.

She felt terrible for him—having to labour in the docks while fasting. She placed the earthen water pot on the corner stool and carefully arranged a few dates that would be needed for iftar.

She had not cooked. Ayub would be taking them out to the streets to sample the delectable fare on offer. She looked inside the pot and checked the copper wristlet at the bottom. Little Arbaaz would often ask what it was there for. She would simply tell him that copper was good for the health. It had been an exceptionally hot and muggy day.

Arbaaz looked at the grimy towel as he handed it back to his mother. It was a story. In , Job Charnock, an agent of the East India Company, had carefully chosen the place for a British trade settlement. It was a good choice. It was protected by the Hooghly River on the west, a creek to the north, and by salt lakes about two-and-a-half miles to the east. On 24 August, , Charnock had made a generous offering at an old Kali temple and had then pitched his tent on the site of the charred ruins of an old factory.

At that time there had been three substantial villages along the east bank of the River Ganges—Sutanuti, Gobindapur and Kalikata. These three villages were bought by the British from the local landlords. Then the Mughal emperor granted East India Company freedom of trade in return for a yearly payment of 3, rupees.

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Calcutta was born. It was a Sunday ritual for the Bagadia family. The parents would take their son to the Waldorf for a Chinese meal followed by cassata ice cream. Being vegetarians, the lunch order remained fixed: Brijmohanlal was short, plump and dark. His black hair was pasted together in place with a generous topping of Brylcreem.

Shakuntala was petite and fair. Her long hair was neatly braided and she was always dressed elegantly in Banarasi sarees. On her slim hands were bangles that were perfectly colour-coordinated with her saree.

Arvind seemed to have taken after his mother more than his father. There was no shortage at the Waldorf in Father, mother and son sat at their usual table surrounded by the rich red interiors of the restaurant. Their favoured waiter, Liang, was on holiday that day. The new waiter took their order without the usual flair and familiarity of Liang, and disappeared. Thirty minutes later, their food had still not arrived.

It was known as Bhoodan. Sharing was caring. Downstairs on Palla Gully, the proud father Ayub was holding forth with his dockyard friends. They were huddled together in a circle, puffing from a single cigarette that was being passed around after each puff.

Sharing was caring in their world too. One of them, a jocular Hindu called Raju, narrated a joke while exhaling smoke through his nose. He was usually overworked trying to eke out an honest living. Raju, though, was a friend, who managed to get him to laugh. The swordsman effortlessly swept his sword in the air and the fly fell to the floor, cleanly dissected into two.

He swung his sword twice and managed to cut the fly into quarters before it hit the ground. He then sat down with the fly still buzzing around his head.

The emperor asked the Muslim swordsman why he had stopped. After all, the fly was still alive. Raju looked at the men with a deadpan expression before delivering the punchline. Maulvi Saheb and Doctor Saheb are ready. The cramped quarters of Ayub and Shabana Sheikh sported a festive air. Little Arbaaz was to undergo his Khitan—or ritual circumcision. Islam did not prescribe a specific age for circumcision but their maulvi was of the view that they ought to get their son circumcised before the age of ten.

A kind doctor from St George Hospital had agreed to carry out the procedure for free. Behind a temporary curtain, Arbaaz was administered a local anaesthetic.

He started wailing piteously when the needle touched the base of his male member. Shabana was driven to tears seeing him like that. She backed off when she saw Ayub getting irritated.

But a few minutes later the procedure was over, the foreskin having been snipped off cleanly. He was the hero of the day. Maulvi Saheb called the gathering to prayer. What do we have? She fed him, delighted by the twinkle that returned to his eyes. He enjoyed the kheer with relish until the discomfort of the surgery began setting in.

He started crying once again and Shabana went scurrying for the painkillers that the doctor had left behind. Brijmohanlal and Arvind were in the living room of the Bagadia family home on Alipore Road. A rpm record-player was playing a song of Kundan Lal Saigal and Arvind was wondering how he could convince his father to turn it off. A great one.

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Mission accomplished for Arvind. Brijmohanlal wondered how to explain the difficulties of life to a ten-year-old boy. He picked up an empty jar from the dining table and headed outside to the garden. They walked over to the kennel that housed Sultan, their Alsatian. The dog wagged his tail happily as he saw father and son approach. He waited for a few minutes before shutting the lid. Brijmohanlal placed the jar in a corner of the garden. His father was absolutely right.

Brijmohanlal twisted off the lid. They have set limits on themselves. The fleas continued jumping, but within the jar. It was stiflingly hot.

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The single creaking fan was struggling to circulate air but all that it did was make a racket. A kind priest at the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary had managed to secure admission for Arbaaz in its parish school in the charity quota.

As usual, his homework had not been done. It was a repeat offence that attracted a swift stroke of the cane on the right hand. His closest friend at school was a boy called Murali Iyer. Little did they know that they would be derided as lungiwalas in the city of dreams. Murali hurriedly passed his own notebook with the cover ripped off to Arbaaz. Arbaaz looked at the homework and smiled. Arbaaz had been digging a pit in the playground before class.

Conscious of how dirty his hands were, Arbaaz tried his best to rub his palms against his shorts on his way to the front. But it was of no use. In less than a second, Arbaaz whipped out his left hand from behind his back to submit it for inspection. There were giggles from the benches. Generally, the intelligent land up in the employment of the smart.

But this houseboat was one of the cheaper ones that had seen better days. The view, though, was stunning. From the balcony of the floating home one could see the vast, mirror-flat sheet of water reflecting the misty peaks of the Pir Panjal mountains.

Brijmohanlal Bagadia, his wife Shakuntala and eleven-year old son Arvind had spent two weeks in paradise. It was now time to head home to Calcutta. The family emerged from within and sat in a brightly painted shikara to reach the bank. From there they got into a car that would take them to Lakhenpur on the Punjab border. After a rather long road trip they reached Lakhenpur in the Kathua district.

Lakhenpur was the gateway to Jammu and Kashmir from Punjab and the rest of India. That day Lakhenpur seemed exceptionally busy. Long traffic snarls prevented their movement for several hours.

Upon reaching Lakhenpur he had been arrested by the Kashmir police. It was widely believed that the arrest strategy had been privately decided upon by Jawaharlal Nehru and Sheikh Abdullah.

Shakuntala and Arvind followed.

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They saw a police vehicle disappearing from the scene. The young man, in his late twenties or early thirties, looked at Arvind.

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What do you think? And yours? The family lived on Alipore Road, a street famous for the swanky residences of the rich and powerful, but theirs was one of the smallest houses, modestly furnished and scantily staffed. That particular dichotomy was to be found in almost everything about the Bagadia family. They would take holidays in fashionable destinations but stay in the cheaper hotels. They owned a car but would invariably use public transport. The Bagadias seemed to be keeping up appearances of an alternate kind.

Brijmohanlal had one particular quality, though, that distinguished him from his ilk: Among Marwaris, that particular word was anathema. One was never meant to be content. Contentment squeezed the brakes on progress and wealth accumulation. But that was Brijmohanlal. Like the fleas.

Arvind, however, was a different kettle of fish. Arvind always wondered why his father chose to remain at the bottom of the top. Or the top of the bottom. The truth was that by the end of , many Marwaris like him were not sure how long the newly independent India would last.

In the north, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee had died after forty-three days in the Srinagar prison. He had been jailed like a common criminal even though the authorities knew that he had coronary troubles.

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Despite having informed the doctor that he was allergic to penicillin, the doctor had injected him with precisely that. The country would have spiralled out of control if Nehru had not placed Sheikh Abdullah under arrest. In the south, a man called Potti Sriramulu had died on the fifty-eighth day of a fast unto death in a demand for a Telugu-speaking state. In the Punjab, someone called Master Tara Singh had begun demanding an independent country called Khalistan.

It was not unreasonable to wonder whether the idea and notion of a united India would survive. Arvind sighed as he walked towards school. It was a bloody waste of time. School never made anyone smart, he reasoned.

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How many millionaires had wasted their time over William Shakespeare or the Battle of Plassey? At five feet, Arvind was rather tall for his age of eleven. He was an unusually good-looking boy. But then, the looks of a Marwari man rarely mattered.

What usually mattered was the thickness of his wallet. Arvind was dressed in his winter uniform: Students were required to line up for inspection in the morning and would be sent home if anything was out of place. Not because of the distance but because of the frequent stops that he made along the way.

The boy took the bag and carefully counted the coins. Pulling out a small notebook from the pocket of his shirt he made a note of the transaction in pencil. There were fifteen minutes left before school started. He waited for another couple of minutes at the street corner and his patience was rewarded. Another drifter emerged, his breath heavy with cheap hooch. He wordlessly handed over a crumpled ball of newspaper to the boy. Arvind carefully opened the grimy container and looked inside.

Twenty-two annas and five pice. It had obviously been a good day for the bum. Which explained the hooch. He pulled out the five pice and handed it back to the man. Arvind quickly did the sums in his head. You gave me twenty-two annas. Add a premium of 10 per cent and I owe you one rupee, eight annas and one pice.

He would meet the other drifters, bums and vagabonds of Loudon Street on his way back in the afternoon. He sighed contentedly. These days he was growing convinced that business was simply a name given to the art of taking money from others without using force.

When she used his surname it usually meant he was in trouble. English literature was usually the ideal class for catching up on his accounts. It always helped to let people feel that they had been able to have their way. It softened them up for a fall. Which was the last play that Oscar Wilde wrote? There is no drama by that name. Other students in the class were snickering.

Arvind had painted himself into a tight corner. As usual, it would be pure entertainment to observe him extricate himself. Arvind resumed. The boys were headed back home after school. While Arvind was tall and fair, Joydeep was short and dark. They made for an odd couple. So I usually have to find ways of supplementing my income.

Is he a coin-collector? Arvind laughed. Most of the time, Arvind was a royal pain in the ass. Arvind looked at his friend seriously. The weight of an anna coin is around 3. Even my mother has a copper kada among her things. I have tried convincing her to give it to me but she refuses. She says that it has antique value that I will understand only when I grow up. Why do you collect them? Even if I give the street bums a 10 per cent premium and Mr Bhattacharjee keeps another 10 per cent for himself, I still make a cool 20 per cent off every coin that I trade!

Money had been saved over several weeks to make it happen. Ever since the movie had been released Ayub had been wanting to go and see it. Little Arbaaz looked up at his parents as they walked towards Pila House. The British authorities had closed all the cemeteries in the area in to build gaming clubs and theatres called Play Houses. The name had stuck.

They walked through an arched doorway under a hand-painted poster that depicted Pradeep Kumar, Bina Rai and Noor Jehan, the stars of the movie.

The film was called Anarkali and had been produced by Filmistan. The Royal Talkies too had originally staged plays but eventually the stage had given way to a cinema screen. With a seating capacity of , the crowds outside were staggering.

A large blackboard displaying show times written in chalk hid most of the booking clerk as Ayub bent down to pay. There were four screenings that day—at The Sheikh family bought three tickets at the box office at four annas per ticket. They walked in, crossed a lobby floor done up in a monochrome chessboard pattern and avoided the counter groaning under the weight of fried snacks and a soda fountain.

Arbaaz was firmly pulled away from those delights. The family could just about afford the tickets. The Sheikhs sat inside for the next two hours and fifty-five minutes, utterly captivated by the images on the screen.

They laughed when Akbar gave Nadira the name Anarkali when she asked for a pomegranate flower. They cried when Akbar had her imprisoned for dancing intoxicated in his court.

They gasped when the conflict between Akbar and Salim reached its climax. His mother always seemed to have a perennial demand of errands for him. Arbaaz wondered whether Javed and his band of thugs would be waiting for him at the Dongri street corner.

The last time that he had passed by, they had caught hold of him by the scruff of his neck and taken turns in using him as a punching-bag. The tall but skinny lad had long limbs and drooping eyes. His hair was jet-black but a touch of henna applied by his mother made it appear brownish. His fair complexion was blemished by mild eruptions of acne that always embarrassed him. Arbaaz was an easy target. Arbaaz stuck his hands into his coarse and thick twill-weave cotton pants.

It was the same cloth that went into making the dungarees of British workmen. The name that brought on an instant feeling of fear was that of Abdul Dada. A couple of weeks ago, they had bashed up the local hooch shop-owner because he had refused to give them their usual supply without payment. On another occasion, they had held the postman at knifepoint and forced him to part with all the money orders that were in his bag.

Arbaaz turned the corner only to find that his worst fears had come true. Javed stood menacingly, leaning against a lamp-post, surrounded by his tribe of yes-men. I wonder how much he has in his pockets.

He paused for a moment, surveying an upside-down Arbaaz. The hulk dumped Arbaaz unceremoniously on the pavement. Whenever you carry less, we shall also take your clothes. A few minutes later, Arbaaz was entirely alone and entirely naked. They had taken his underpants too. Tears rolled down his cheeks but he could not wipe them away. He needed his hands to cover his privates. And then something snapped inside him and Arbaaz would never be the same boy again.

Mahatma Gandhi had once said that an eye for an eye would end up making the whole world blind. It was time for the world to go blind. Arbaaz sat at his desk. In front of him was a 9p postcard issued by the Department of Posts. Also in front of him was an Urdu book. Books were an odd sight in the Sheikh household. Arbaaz had borrowed it from his teacher at school. One had to keep the tone mature yet reverential. Once he was done, he surveyed his work proudly. He hurried to the post box down the street to drop off the postcard.

Having dropped it into the red cylinder, he took a deep breath. The real challenge would be tonight. The house on Sandhurst Road was quiet, with all the residents fast asleep.

Arbaaz had been squatting across the railway tracks for over two hours. He had reviewed the plan several times in his head. He knew that he would be in big trouble if the strategy backfired.

He got up and stretched himself. He felt inside his right trouser pocket. It was there. It had meant months of saving to buy it. He was reassured when his fingers touched the plastic. He hesitated for a moment, wondering whether he was doing the right thing. Then he remembered reaching home naked and being called filthy names by the street urchins who had followed him. He made up his mind.

He nimbly crossed the railway tracks and reached the double-storeyed house. A sign outside the gate read M. Rehman, Advocate. Arbaaz swung open the gate and his heart fluttered as the hinges squeaked in the stillness of the night. Nerving himself, he walked cautiously to the house, avoiding the twigs that lay scattered on the ground.

He looked up towards the window that he had been observing all night. It was wide open. He quickly shinned up the drainpipe, as nimble as a coconut-harvester in Kerala. Devoid of friends, Arbaaz had spent days climbing trees and hiding in them. His lack of strength was balanced by his agility and speed.

Some animals hunt. Others hide. He reached the window and peered inside. He could discern a figure on the bed. Its open mouth was snoring, expanding and contracting rhythmically to the pattern of the snores. Arbaaz pulled himself over the window ledge and gingerly stepped inside the room. He stood motionless for a minute, allowing his eyes to adjust to the darkness. He then walked over to the desk and opened one of the drawers.

The Bombay humidity had swollen the wood and the drawer squeaked. The figure on the bed stopped snoring. Arbaaz froze in fear. He remained frozen for over a minute and almost magically, the snoring resumed.

Arbaaz heaved a sigh of relief as he set about completing his task. The leather belt struck Javed yet again, this time on his thighs. The boy yelled in pain as he attempted to stay on his feet. Our son is now a professional drug-dealer! Javed lost his balance and fell to the ground. Read it and tell me if I should show mercy to this pathetic specimen that we call our son!

As-Salaam-Alaikum Rehman Saheb. I can turn to no one else for help. My son is addicted to the drugs that your boy sells. I have tried my best to help him stop the habit but to no avail.

Your son ensures that his customers remain addicted. I cannot go to the police because they will arrest my son first. I know that you are a respected lawyer and a good man. By the grace of Allah, may I humbly request you to get rid of this scourge?

I shall be forever in your debt. I have been far too lenient with you. From this day onwards things will change. Atop a tree that bordered the Rehman home, Arbaaz watched events unfold with a quiet smile of satisfaction.

And a few hunt while they hide. Iqbal and Arbaaz looked odd standing next to each other. Arbaaz, on the other hand, was tall and skinny. Iqbal looked at the scrawny lad once again. He was at the local taleemkhana which was not very different from the local Hindu akhada.

The only real difference was that there were no idols of Hindu gods on the walls. Iqbal was the local pehelwan who ran it. Iqbal pulled out a hen from a cage in the corner of the room and pushed it under the cot. He handed Arbaaz a lathi.

Remember that you cannot touch the hen. Simply move the lathi on all four sides of the bed fast enough and you will achieve this. Iqbal laughed. He took the lathi from Arbaaz and got one of his students to catch the flapping bird and put it back under the cot.

The bird thinks that there is a wall on all four sides of the bed. This is the sort of speed at which I expect you to move the lathi. And also apply this all over your body when you get here. I am going to teach you all of them. By the time I am done with you, even a simple coin tied in a piece of cloth will become a deadly weapon in your hands. Your training will last for two hours daily. Here, drink this. At home, I want you to consume dal and mutton.

The protein will fill you out. See you tomorrow. The two La Martiniere schools, one for boys and the other for girls, faced each other across Rawdon Street. She was a delightful creature. She was a dusky Bengali beauty with deep eyes and dimples that appeared whenever she smiled, which was often. He had been on one of his coin-collecting rounds when she entered the school gate along with her friend, and he had been unable to take his eyes off her.

He had never experienced anything like that before. Certainly not his parents. And his friend Joydeep was entirely inept in such matters. Too shy to introduce himself and too scared to find out her name from anyone else, Arvind resigned himself to waiting on Rawdon Street to surreptitiously steal glimpses of her. A few days later he saw her friend walk out from the school gate alone.

It was now or never. His heart was beating wildly as he walked up to her. The girl was heading towards a private car but she stopped for a moment and looked at him enquiringly. He had not anticipated the question.

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