Q&A by Vikas Swarup
I have been arrested. For winning a quiz show.
This is a gem of a book. A big thank you to Chandran for this present. It had been my companion during those cold days when cycling back home is such a torture and I end up sitting in a coffee shop reading. I was hooked from the start.
Ram Mohammad Thomas. Three different names from three different faiths. All belonging to one individual. I wouldn't say that he led a charmed life. In fact, far from it. The story starts from the arrest of Ram, an orphan from the slums, for winning a billion rupees on a quiz show. It then takes us through the series of questions that Ram had to answer en route to the big prize and the chain of events that had helped Ram get those answers. The book does not shy away from the social inequities of life in modern India, where the rich stays rich and the poor gets poorer. Where evil comes in all shapes and sizes and kindness knocks unexpectedly. Where the harshness of life is not sugar coated to feed to masses.
Ram did the unacceptable - an uneducated orphan from the streets who won himself a heck of a lot of money by answering questions he couldn't possibly know. The police and the producers were sure he cheated. Come on, they said, he is from the slums! Although the first thought that springs to mind will be whether or not he gets to keep his money, it is Ram's journey through life and through the questions that is the center of the book. That question then, slowly begins to fade as the book starts to suck you in.
This is Vikas Swarup's first novel and it had garnered praises from all quarters. This book will made into a film and a stage musical. I have only one question : Who will play Ram?