What comes in your psyche when you think of the Indian Army? – Honesty, Integrity, Courage, Grit, Determination, Perseverance. What if someone tries to sabotage the humongous institution and harm our soldiers? That and much more constitute R Sreeram’s Kalyug.
As you begin flipping the pages, a certain sense of compactness hits you, as if the writer knows very well how to capture his readers’ attention. Within a span of six months, a slew of events shake the Indian citizens and the incumbent Government by shock and surprise. The events are sequenced alternately and relevantly according to their timeline. Political thriller is such a niche genre in Indian English Literature even after 68 years of independence.
Kalyug delves deep into the crevices of Indian politics and churns out murk that the regular citizens can’t even dream of. It’s true that we have read too many books involving the CIA and FBI but despite being a democracy, most of our authors don’t tend to attempt politics in fiction. Is it the fear of prosecution like Mr Balamurli Selvam faced in the book? Sreeram has struck a chord with such a sensitive issue and explored it beautifully in this novel.
What amused me are the allegories. If you follow Indian Politics even remotely, you can relate each character with someone we know. Mrs Pandit is quite similar and synonymous to a Mrs You-Know-Who of Indian politics. There are others too, but it’s best that you read the book to identify them and bask in the glory. It is a wonderfully fast-paced book with adequate and well-timed suspense and twists. Operation Kalyug is probably a Utopia that many of us dream of, but it is very difficult to pull off in a chaotic country like ours. However, Sreeram has sown the sown the seeds to the dream of a bloodless coup resulting in an honest and forthright benevolent Government capable of resurrecting the country from its maladies. Because –
“Everything that is done in the world is done by hope.” – Martin Luther
R. Sreeram is the quintessential Indian – loves cricket, spends a month’s salary on gadgets and is stubbornly opinionated.
He’s written a few poems and short stories before Kalyug, and often threatens to pen a few more. In what he sees as an ironic twist of fate, he too has joined the engineer-turned-MBA-turnedwriter bandwagon that he once pooh-poohed.
He lives in an undisclosed (for obvious reasons!) location with his wife and the laziest dog in the whole world (who takes after him in that respect). He blogs on ramsutra. blogspot.com.
PRB – Also blogs actively at OneandaHalfMinutes and Moreechikaa
A full time author in the making and a proud iMelonite !
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The book is available at : Amazon , Flipkart, Infibeam.
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Kalyug by R Sreeram is our book in focus this month.