Locks, Mahabharata and Mathematics

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An Exploration of Unexpected Parallels Fascinating

Dr. V. Raghunathan’s is a very courageous attempt to link three seemingly disparate subjects. Just the thought of what the link between them could be will force a reader to dive into the book.

The book does different things to different type of readers. To those who already know a bit of Mahabharata, and have done well in mathematics in high school, and have a sense of adventure, this book works wonders. Some can relate to two of them and ignore one of the three and still enjoy it. What takes the cake are the astounding variety and intricacies of locks and explanation of how they work and the intrigue, artistry and imagination behind them. Their connection to mathematics is fascinating but the author’s attempt to relate to Mahabharata is superb only in some cases.

The language is easy, witty, especially while the author is sticking to the subject matter. But his or his editor’s attempt to speak in today’s casual tone and reference to CBI or IIT exams really jars.

Raghu has carved a niche for himself for choosing outlandish topics and that’s his forte. His earlier books, for those who’ve missed them, are -Ganesha on the Dashboard, The Corruption Conundrum and other Paradoxes and Dilemmas, Don’t Sprint the Marathon, Games Indians Play. Look forward to many more from the management professor turned CEO with eclectic tastes. The possibility of a book on locks embedded in a Sherlock Holmes style fiction series is already giving me goose bumps.

Suchitra Jayaprabhu