The Da Vinci Code and the Kashmir Code01 Apr 2005
Read "The Da Vinci Code" last Saturday while lazing over a long weekend. Friday was non-working day because of Good Friday and Holi, the festival of colors. On a typical Holi day, I would be playing with some color and water in my building with neighbors. This time, away from home, I had nothing much to do, except read.
Dan Brown's latest novel, The Da Vinci Code is absolutely unputdownable as one of the reviewers says. The most often repeated praise for this book is "how magically he mixes fact and fiction and creates a world where the basic grounds of Christianity are to be blown up". Of course, all that is true. But what appeals to me the most is, I haven't read such a mystery since Sherlock Holmes. And I've not read such a piece of fiction, such imagination, since The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
This one novel has exceptional research gone behind it, long hours of thinking and finding patterns and interpretations to simple things that others wouldn't bide their time doing. Dan Brown finds relations between Da Vinci arts, the way they are painted, the secret societies he indulged in, the genius that he was, his other inventions, and so on. Of course, this book has enough of fact to it, that I got to learn a lot about Christianity and Da Vinci. Catch is, there's such a thin line between fact and fiction, that once immersed into the plot, you hardly can make out what's fact and what's not.
Atul's already written lots about Angels and Demons, the prequel to The Da Vinci Code, and how great that book is, I've nevertheless picked up Deception Point, also by Dan Brown, after TDVC. I had bought all these books in Pune, but hadn't had the time to read them till now. Now that I had choice, knowing Angels and Demons was good, I picked up DP, so that even if it wasn't that good, I'd have something good to read sometime soon.
So then how about cracking the Kashmir code by applying the same principles as in TDVC? The Times of India, the leading daily here, has an article today that talks about Kashmir actually belonging to the US, and not India. A very nicely written article.