I am scared of huge novels. i imagine them laughing at me while i try to figure out, how on the earth will i complete this monster. But, after reading shantaran which is approx 1000 pages in size [ plus it has medium font size ], my outlook towards such novels has completely changed. i read it in Diwali vacation ’08. . The description of scenes is picturesque and the language is elegant.
It all started when I read that Johnny Depp had bought rights for some book called shantaram and it roused my curiosity. Let me sketch the outline of the book a bit. The protagonist is a man called Lindsay, who escapes Australian prison and arrives in Bombay on a fake passport. Here he befriends tourist guide prabaker, who finds him a place to live in a slum away from the eyes of the law. The slum is to be the home of Linbaba, as Lindsay is called, for the next few years. while he runs a makeshift first-aid center in the slum, he also engages in criminal activities like smuggling and counterfeiting, and eventually fights with mujhahideen of Afghanistan and acts in bollywood. Lin’s experience in Bombay range from falling in love with the beautiful karla to visiting prabaker’s village where he gets the name “shantaram”, or man of peace. The Book is Full of character’s, each character is a jewel in the crown i.e the novel. The fact that the author who is foreign to India makes an effort to understand the pulse of a complex country and does it in style makes this book a compelling read. The adventures of shantaram never ceases to amaze you. it’s a perfect script that can be translated to a movie.
This book review found a place in Rotaract club of nirma institute’s annual magazine Reckon.