Finally I got my hands on Da Vinci Code. Popularity of this book has become some kind of myth in recent times. Undoubtedly it has become a worldwide best seller. After it was recommended to me by a friend, most days I see some mention in newspaper or people reading it in trains. In my circle of acquaintances, only new films, TV shows and music gets discussed and never a book – this may be the rare one. How many times have you discussed a new book release, checked reviews and tried to read it hot-from-the-oven not like after 50 years from the time of publishing? I watched a TV documentary called “Real Da Vinci Code” which visited all the sites mentioned in the book and ended up refuting many of the claims made in the book. I walk by a 175 year old Mary Magdalene church every morning and have visited Rome, Vatican, Paris, Lovre and London in recent times – that must be all the reasons to read this book.

I did contemplate buying it, but somehow decided against it, tried borrowing from friends and borrowing from library. Library had very few copies and they said another ten or so copies have been ordered, so finally placed a reservation and got it.

Against my best judgment, I described the quest for the book in so much detail to start with saying this – it didn’t live up to my expectations. In the same breath, I have to say that it was an interesting read, a very light one at that. I imagined it would be one of the best narratives to catch attention of so many people, but it was rather like a delicious sounding dish gone sour at places.

This one would definitely make you wonder why it has attracted so many people. Story plays the main role, it is something like you got a meaty idea for a story and then you invent some characters – professor to explain the concept, students to get suitably impressed hearing the hackneyed stories about PHI and produce adequate oohs and aahs etc. Narrative will have to compete hard against children’s books and still might find it hard to win. It is just a regular “thriller”.

Some of the ideas seemed preposterous to me. About the V formed by two people indicating sacred feminine, reverse V indicating male and the whole structure saying M and hence indicating Mary Magdalene etc. I think this is the problem of anything which is not scientific – anything can be proposed and there is no way somebody can prove or disprove. It is like somebody trying to find sexual connotations of 90’s America by analysing Friends TV series.

As to the question of faith and whether it catches somebody totally off-guard and makes them think whether all through their life they might have been founding their faith on a lie etc, somehow I am not able find the shock element in that. Probably because marriage, bloodline, goddesses are not new concepts when it comes to my religion. We have all imaginable combinations of mortal lives reflecting on to fables of gods and goddesses. I have read somewhere that Sita/Ram story is based on a real king who was loved by his subjects (not sure whether it is with supporting evidence). It is a very tricky thing to start discussing faith, but I think belief in god need not be tied down to certain symbols abolishing of which crumples everything you ever believed in.

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