Indeed, the incidents that author Vikas Swarup tells us in Q
& A: A Novel – the story on which
“Slumdog” is based – are also perhaps nothing short of miracles.
However, any book is a series of coincidences, the 13 or so incidents that shape
Ram Mohammed Thomas’ life are brought about in a way that makes the book a
thriller, a love story, a story of life and perhaps most significantly, a story
chapter regales to the readers the story of how he can answer the questions on
the Indian version of “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” – a show that has the same
hype around it in India as the Super Bowl.
this device, Swarup turns the 360-page book into a masterpiece of storytelling.
book is a bestseller in the Indian subcontinent, yet hasn’t had the same
reception in the western world as one would expect with the release of “Slumdog
Millionaire,” and it’s about time that it did.
way Q & A: A Novel explores
the reality of India has brought it criticism and acclaim. Indian media didn’t
like the way it focused on the brutal, yet real, side of India. The media also
didn’t like the fact that the book concentrated on Indian officials working with
beatings and bribes, or the religious riots that took place not so far back, nor
did it like the fact that prostitutes and poverty were very much discussed.
there was the side of the Indian media that went into a hype about the fact an
Indian writer (a diplomat by day) had written a bestseller went on to be the
basis of an Oscar winning film.
truth is, the book deals with the delicate nature of the story better than the
film, with many lines of hidden humor that weren’t incorporated into the film.
With many scenes and characters changed, the film doesn’t do justice to the way
the grit, determination and hope shape Ram’s life.
Mumbai’s passion for bustling life and the sweat of the city are knit together
and injected into Ram’s story, with not one moment passing which you won’t
enjoy, with perhaps a few tears, if you are of that type.
say that a film never does justice to a book, and perhaps quite rightly so, for
this certainly is the case here.
to the film’s success, Q&A: A
Novel is now going to be sold as
“Slumdog Millionaire.” Perhaps the
revenues will increase, but the way Swarup has dished out a piece of ‘slumchic’
deserves individual recognition on a global scale.
Rahman did India proud winning two Oscars, one of them for a song entitled ‘Jai
Ho,’ simply meaning ‘be victorious.’
Swarup is victorious, and Q&A: A
Novel isn’t known simply for the
film, but for its own merits.
quite simple – did you enjoy the film? Of course you did. We all did. Who
doesn’t like the story where the underdog wins and love triumphs?
and relive the magic and read the book – it has more spice, it has more sugar,
it’s chaotic yet organised; fast-paced, yet won’t burn away in your memory.
ho, Swarup, jai ho.