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