‘Would love to see SRK as RBI gover­nor in book adap­ta­tion’

HT City - - MY CITY - aditya.do­[email protected]

Bank­ing is such a vast sub­ject that there is enough scope for me to write bank­ing thrillers all my life and never re­peat my sto­ries. I find writ­ing that bor­rows heav­ily from real life is a lot more en­gag­ing and thrilling.



Aditya Do­gra

Au­thor Ravi Subra­ma­nian, of­ten dubbed as the ‘Gr­isham of Bank­ing’, has de­liv­ered some of the most grip­ping and fast-paced nov­els in the past decade in In­dia. So, it was easy to pre­dict that his lat­est, Don’t Tell The Gover­nor, might just fol­low suit. His lat­est of­fer­ing is an en­gag­ing thriller in the back­drop of de­mon­eti­sa­tion, which deals with the tu­mul­tuous re­la­tion­ship be­tween the RBI gover­nor and the fi­nance min­is­ter. And, that’s not all — the fic­tional tale has a healthy dose of cricket, Panama papers, po­lit­i­cal lob­by­ing, and ter­ror­ism, too.

Talk­ing about why bank­ing is a sub­ject he loves to ex­plore, Subra­ma­nian says, “While most of my books are set in the back­drop of bank­ing, the story lines are very, very dif­fer­ent. For in­stance, one book is based in the world of Maoist fund­ing in Ch­hat­tis­garh (The In­cred­i­ble Banker), one in the world of Bit­coins (God is a Gamer), while an­other is based in the back­drop of NGO fund­ing (The Bankster). An­other book is based in the world of arms and jew­ellery busi­nesses (Bankerupt). I have tried to keep each story dif­fer­ent from the other. There is lit­tle or no sim­i­lar­ity in the plots. This has be­come pos­si­ble be­cause bank­ing is such a vast sub­ject that there is enough scope for me to write bank­ing thrillers all my life and never re­peat my sto­ries.”

He adds that while his lat­est deals with some of the hottest top­ics right now, it is a com­plete work of fic­tion.

“Yes, the book is based in the real world, but with fic­ti­tious char­ac­ters. In fact, on the first page of the book, in my au­thor’s note, I state that the book con­tains char­ac­ters with real life roles — for ex­am­ple, there is an RBI gover­nor, a fi­nance min­is­ter, a Prime Min­is­ter, etc. But I have also gone on to state that while th­ese char­ac­ters carry real life des­ig­na­tions and ti­tles, it does not mean that the real life in­cum­bents of th­ese roles are the char­ac­ter in this book. I have re­quested the read­ers to read the book as ‘What could be’ rather than ‘What is’,” he ex­plains.

When deal­ing with real life roles and is­sues, it is im­por­tant to get your re­search right, and Subra­ma­nian agrees that he, too, put in ef­fort so read­ers can re­late to the events in the book.

“I’m a sucker for fic­tion based around real life events. The re­lata­bil­ity of the story en­hances the thrill of read­ing it. Iron­i­cally, our ex­pec­ta­tions from fic­tion are bound by the need for it to be be­liev­able, where as real life suf­fers from no such il­lu­sions,” he says.

He goes on to ex­plain, “For an ex­am­ple, if we had read about the mur­der of Sheena Bora in a story, we would have dis­missed it as un­real. But no one says it’s un­be­liev­able given that it hap­pened in real life. Hence, I find writ­ing that bor­rows heav­ily from real life is a lot more en­gag­ing and thrilling.”

“And, yes, the RBI­gov­ern­ment con­flict is a theme that runs through­out the book. It is just a co­in­ci­dence that the two de­cided to clash in real life, just around the time my book came out. Trust me, I have no role in that,” he adds.

Ask him if he’d like his books adapted for Bol­ly­wood, and Subra­ma­nian is quick to re­ply, “I have very re­cently sold the adap­ta­tion rights to three of my books. The an­nounce­ment will be made by the pub­lish­ers and pro­duc­tion house very soon. As far as the role of the RBI gover­nor in Don’t Tell The Gover­nor is con­cerned, there is no one bet­ter than (ac­tor) Shah Rukh Khan to play it. I would love to see ac­tors Anushka Sharma play the role of his love in­ter­est, Amitabh Bachchan as the Prime Min­is­ter/Fi­nance Min­is­ter, and Ran­veer Singh as the Delhi-based po­lit­i­cal lob­by­ist.”

Au­thor Ravi Subra­ma­nian; (in­set) His lat­est book Don’t Tell The Gover­nor

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