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Sultan of Delhi: Ascension Paperback – 20 Nov 2016
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About the Author
Arnab Ray is one of India’s most read bloggers, known online as Greatbong. A PhD in Computer Science from State University of New York at Stony Brook, he has also written three bestselling books - May I Hebb Your Attention Pliss, The Mine and Yatrik. He can be found on Twitter at @greatbong.
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Well, Arnab Ray's Sultan of Delhi, is happily, not one of the regular Indian fiction novels. It had me gripped right from when I started reading it. I could relate to the characters, their strengths, their inner weaknesses and their motivations even though I don't come from a background similar to them. The language they use is something I could translate to Hindi, Punjabi or Bengali in my head and have it ring true.
I loved the description of partition on one family, the drive which the primary character Arjun Bhatia displays to win at all costs, the relationship between a father and his daughter, the betrayal of a friend and of course - sequences describing the revenge motive.
I finished the book with feeling both satisfied and incomplete - satisfied because I got to know how Arjun ended up, and incomplete because there are so many questions about his family and future which remain unanswered.
This is a well written, grounded book, which has the potential to turn into something great in its sequels. A great read for lazy weekend afternoons, and best finished in one sitting.
But it isn't.
This novel is really, really good!
In fact, I have even told him that I think it's his best work yet.
I have read all his books and with each one, I see his writing getting sharper, crisper, wittier; his characters more identifiable, his perspective on how globalised India has become that much more spot-on.
Arjun Bhatia is a goon, but when you read this, you understand that a goon is just another human being, with their own gamut of emotions, thoughts, complexities and rationale. Bhatia loves his family, loves his wife and mistress in different ways, loves his life so much so that he can kill and plunder. It's not an ethically good life, but it's one that some people do lead in this cruel, deep and dark world.
Go ahead, read this and then wait in anticipation for the sequel, like me!
P.s. my father/wife who are choosy readers (unlike me) could not put down the novel. Tat tells a lot
Where the story of Arjun Bhatia ends in Part 1, leaves me with a lot of curiosity about what lies ahead. I'm rather looking forward to the Part 2!
The second part is the struggle of Arjun Bhatia to remain in the game and climb up. The third part is where the Godfather imagery got into my head. It is Arjun Pacino and Marie Bhatia all over. But this is where the comparison ends. This part is about Arjun’s personal struggles with his family and its where his past comes back to haunt him. It also gives us a good sneek peek into the working of luteyn’s Delhi. The ending and some of the events did not seem logical to me and forced. *Spoiler Alert* For e.g Riti knew all along about her father’s business and still enjoyed the fruits of it. It is only rational of Arjun to expect his son in law to keep his hands off his business. Why did Mohan had to go about killing his brother when there could have been other ways to accomplish what he wanted. *Spoilers End*
All in all the book is a must read for those who enjoy a good novel, particularly the mafia genre. I feel the author — Arnab Ray is highly underrated and much more deserving of acclaims. I am also astonished by the author’s understanding of Delhi and its functioning despite living in USA and Kolkata for most of his life. The book is littered with abuses and Hindi dialogues and occasional steamy sex and so those wary of it should avoid. As for me, I am eagerly waiting for the second part.
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