Tuesday, 13 November 2012

The Bankster - Book Review


Bankers build their careers on trust, or so everyone thinks, till a series of murders threaten to destroy the reputation that the Greater Boston Global Bank (GB2) has built over the years. Who is behind these killings, and what is their motive? 

When Karan Panjabi, press reporter and ex-banker, digs deeper, he realizes that he has stumbled upon a global conspiracy with far reaching ramifications a secret that could not only destroy the bank but also cast a shadow on the entire nation. With only thirty-six hours at his disposal, he must fight the clock and trust no one if he is to stay alive and uncover the truth.

My Take:

When I initially started reading this book, honestly, it was not able to capture my attention. I just read few pages that too only at bedtime. But, after first sixty pages, the story shifts gear and changes its pace swiftly. And, then it just becomes ‘unputdownable’. A multifaceted plot woven around three parallel sub plots, the story zips through different parts of the world while keeping its readers wondering about the next set of events. A clandestine CIA agent trading ‘blood diamonds’ & illegal arms with some extremist political religious group in Angola -  A septuagenarian fighting on the behalf of common man against the government to ensure the safety measures in development of a local nuclear plant in remote town of Kerela – An international Bank HQ in Mumbai where a big money-laundering scam is sprouting embellished with manipulation, power-clashes & corporate politics, all these plots although being so different from one another gets linked at the end very impeccably by the author.

Out of these three stories, my interest got hooked instantly with the story of the MNC bank where unnatural death of few employees one after other within short span shook the top management people. I was able to identify with the typical stereotyped corporate characters and I felt I have seen similar characters around me during my brief stint with corporate world. Dubious banking practices which are crafted by twisting the rules, targets, deadlines, compliance, audits, quality, appraisals, internal movements and office parties all sounded so familiar to me. The other two stories were not in my familial backdrop so took time to register in my mind.

The language of the book is quite simple and the author has took that effort to simplify the complex banking terms and delineate them in lay-man’s lingo.

The unpredictable twists & turns keep its readers glued and I finished the 3/4th of the book in almost one day!! The translucent persona sketch of various characters remains as mild dampener but somehow this did not affect the flow of the narration much. However, I felt the climax was too quick and bit confusing as erratic findings keeps on dropping here and there. Also, I personally felt that by the end where the main protagonist, a banker turned journalist chips in to solve the conspiracy is quite dramatic & typical detective TV series type.  

But still I found book interesting & would recommend to everyone who want to read some crisp & devoid of shallow emotion tales.

P.S.: Another thing which I really liked about the book & Blogadda that it came Author-signed :-)

  • Title – The Bankster
  • Author – Ravi Subramanian
  • Publisher – Rupa Publications
  • Pages – 358
  • Price – INR 250
  • ISBN – 978-81-291-2048-9
  • My Rating - 4/5
This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at BlogAdda.com. Participate now to get free books!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

WoW - 7

It was too dark. Her head still felt heavy. Partial awake but somehow in trance, she tried to recall the course of events. Damn, she can’t remember a thing except the feeling that she was very elated to go out for her first ever date.
Her wrists are hurting with the rope tied around it. She tried to scream but realized that the gag has blocked her voice. Petrified, injured she tried to wriggle out that bond, but failed. Tears oozed and trickled down her cheeks.  Slowly few other incidents flashed in her memory screen. She recollected how she skillfully lied to her parents to go out on this date with her online chat friend. How could have she divulged the truth to them, they still consider her a kid. She is grown up, she is fifteen!!
They had chatted for almost last six months every day without fail. He now understands her so well. Initially bit hesitant but later she became quite comfortable while chatting with him. His thoughtful quotes, humorous one - liners, philosophical reassurances compelled her to go gaga over him. So, when finally he proposed to meet her, she found herself in seventh heaven.
She bunked her tuition classes and reached the scheduled spot almost on time. His tall built & dashing looks completely swayed her mind. She pinched herself to check whether she is still dreaming or what!!. Then after a while they went for a long drive. It was month of May, so they halted near a shop to get some cold-drinks. But, then…. After that….she can’t recall a single thing.

She again wrestled with the bondage but gave up soon. Drenched in sweat she lay there motionless. It was still as cemetery outside. Only sound she can hear is of dry leaves & some crickets creaking. Suddenly, she heard some footsteps and a ray of street light flashed in as the door is opened. All she can see a tall shadow leaning near the door. Suddenly, ‘His laughter broke the silence’. She was zapped. It is him!!! A shiver ran down her spine.

Now she is able to find the missing pieces of the Zigzag puzzle of her abduction. He had laced the drink with something which made her unconscious.

He creepily came near her and tried to feel her body. She squirmed in repugnance & shut her eyes.  Her parents’ faces reeled in front of her. They are so right…she is indeed a kid, a damn stupid kid!!!

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda

Sunday, 4 November 2012

WoW - 6

Arrrggghhh…it is 2AM now, and this crackpot has turned me on. At this hour of night what damn entertainment does he expects from me? Can’t I get some minimal privacy for myself!!By the time he would leave me alone and go to sleep, it would be the time for the old man of the family to wake up. Then he would take his turn to avail my services. Gosh…has anybody ever thought how hard the life of a Television is in a joint family!!

Yeah…I am your regular TV which you can find in almost 112 million households in India as per some random survey. I understand my sole purpose in your life is entertainment….but you see; unlike Vidya Balan in Dirty Picture I never have to boast and say ‘Aur main entertainment hoon’. Since the time I have been accessorized with that cable TV, I have lost my sleep & peace of mind. I had heard my forefathers had to serve only for few hours in a day and that too only one channel can be seen on my screen. That vibgyor screen saver was such a relief and they were able to sleep off once it flashed the screen at night.

Remember this one!!
(Image courtesy: Google Images)
But now with 24x7 entertainment motto, I have to juggle between hundreds of channels and that too throughout the day & night. And take my word, ninety percent of stuff aired in these channels in the name of entertainment are utter crap!! Are you able to relate with my plight now? The old grandfather of the house would like to start his day with spiritual channels. Now, that doesn’t matter that he might not have bothered to listen or follow this pseudo-spirituality throughout his life as being busy with daily bread & butter, but he wants everybody in his family to take blessings from that long-bearded ‘Baba’ who keeps on talking with mastered dramatic effects .

Then there are the female clans of the house who take over the battlefield from Grandpa. Old granny loves to watch the ‘Saas-bahu ‘sagas which enhances her knowledge about the various ways of scheming & plotting her family members can do and especially that DIL. But is she aware of the fact that one of her DIL also rely on the same ‘Saas- bahu’ serials (Re-runs this time!!) for her knowledge base while she is taking her afternoon nap.

There are other members like that other DIL who generally prefers to get a quick gist of all the TV soaps from her co-sister and is not regular at keeping a direct eye on me. Then there are some sports fanatics as well in the family, they would bite their nails even watching highlights of that India-SriLanka Cricket match which was played months ago. The young tribe grabs the remote to watch the trendy channels with anorexic, skinny models walking as if their toes are trying to multiply 726 with 35 on the ramp. Few channels want to titillate the emotion of people in the name of reality shows which are anything BUT reality…..Poorly scripted, melodramatic, over the top.

Everyone in the house likes to watch NEWS channels….it is a known fact that these are the best entertaining channels nowadays. You can actually sob, laugh, get scared or be agitated by watching the same channel. But you have to understand their quandary as well, now with a 24x7 airtime their task of showing quality news is getting more thorny and is a mammoth task. So, whether it is ‘Hurricane Sandy on rampage in US’ or ‘Aishwarya Rai’s post-partum weight’, they sell it off as ‘BREAKING NEWS’.

There is the young guy who works in some BPO or IT industry and returns from work late past midnight. He would also take his chance to kill time while watching movies which have been repeated n-number of times or those slimming advertisements which generally flood all the channels after midnight. I rather wonder at their air-time as why would an obese person keep himself awake to just watch those ‘Quick Slim’ advertisements at that hour of night….Don’t they know anything about ‘Target Audience’!!
The kids want to watch kids & cartoon channels all the time. I pity on these kids…..they never can feel the excitement of watching ‘Duck Tales’ or ‘Jungle Book’ on Sunday mornings after a week’s wait.
Anyway, I digress. No doubt the ever upgrading technology has transformed our breed of ugly ducklings into sleek & sexy models…we are slimmer & flatter now. We are hung on walls now unlike past positioned in some corner. Then there are smarter versions of us who are known as ‘SMART TV’. We are able to support so many features now…Blu-ray, HDD, 5.1 surround sound, Wi-fi…..list goes on.

But in midst of all this techno advanced terms and 24x7 over dosage of absolute mediocre shows, I somewhere pine inside my heart to lead the life of my forefathers. That life where my only accessory would have been a shuttered box whose closed doors ensured some respite & peace at least for few hours a day!!

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

It says 'For a minute look around the things near you and then include them creatively in a story', I looked around and saw this flat screen LCD who must have so many stories tucked in its bag!