The Bankster By Ravi Subramanian-A Review

Intricate detailing is what makes a thriller what it is. The Bankster is beyond the usual suspense thriller. Veering with multiple scenarios playing at our simultaneously, it makes for a fabulous read, especially in India’s emerging culture which is exponentially rising into the corporate lifestyle. The subtle, yet commonly gossiped about fact that powerful corporate houses run the nation is well weaved into the plot as Mr. Subramanian takes you on a simple, yet enthralling ride

This 358 paged novel is Ravi’s fifth novel with the banking world as its set (however, I confess to not having read the other four before). But, with all honesty, I regret not having read them as this book was simply wonderful. Dealing with three different parallels at the same time, Subramanian slowly unravels a web of mystery linking a covert CIA agent, an anti-nuclear power plant protest in India and a series of death of a certain bank’s employees. Most authors writing thrillers fail to clearly link these sets in a convincing manner, often disappointing readers. However, The Bankster pretty much clearly exhibits the links and demonstrates their entanglement.

The nucleus of this book is its radical, coherent yet brutally simple analogy to different current situations. Ravi brilliantly has drawn some of the world’s most familiar happenings into an elaborate piece of fiction to expound some thoughts which gets you thinking. The familiarity between the Kundankulam nuclear power plant protests and the fictitious protests in the book is point blank and obvious but does explore a delicate side of the world of International relations by sly hints. Also, by dumbing down complex banking strategies and terms, Ravi has eased the burden on a common reader. This is a problem rarely addressed by authors and often becomes a stigma. I quote one of my friends who supposedly read Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code with one eye on the book and the other on the Google search results of the various terms thrown at her. At face value, The Bankster is both easy on your mind as well as Internet bills.

Moving on to the book’s Achilles’ heel, we arrive at something which is debatable Although the book slowly lays out the detailed plot and the mystery breaks free perfectly with logical arguments, the method, to me was a bit unrealistic. To me, a media personnel deciphering extravagant clues and connecting the dots, that too within a fixed time period of 48 hours is a bit tough to accept. Although Ravi seeks to augment this fact by detailing Karan (the media guy)’s character with investigative training and a natural flair for deciphering cases, it still remains tough to accept. Another counter to this can be Karan’s support team consisting of some trusted colleagues and his girlfriend, I would like to iterate that their contribution pales in comparison to Karan’s as he clearly steals the limelight.

Overall, this book is a masterpiece and simply un-putdown-able. Ravi draws you into the world of GB2 and controls your emotions like a puppet master. When I picked up the book, the first thing that leaped out was a line out of the Wall Street Journal saying “Meet the John Grisham of banking”. Suffice to say, I second it.

The Standing Coin Rating: 7.5/10

Like: Easy to read, Draws the reader’s attention into a detailed world, Radical new theories

Dislike: Single character essaying the role of a super intelligent hero comes across as unrealistic

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Changing Seasons; Spring Of Progress Or Autumn Of Decay?

Don’t be fooled by the lofty title, it’s the theme of a particular international diplomacy event coming up in the next few months(Namely TEIMUN found at http://teimun.org). However, the question posed was impertinent and my heart demanded it be answered. Here’s my take on it:

“The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”‘

Today, when the world stands at the cross roads of diplomacy and tact, I am sure that peace shall be achieved if each global citizen makes these beautiful verses their motto.
If 2011 was turbulent, 2012 promises to right the wrong. The world was threatened by nuclear weapons, but the threat is set to be nullified via peace talks at Seoul. If economic troubles were what gave us sleepless nights, financial agreements and stronger trade ties are set to fight. Today’s world, buoyed by the inspired need for peace and the young generation’s zeal for justice, has emerged on the path for a supreme civilization. The Arab Spring revolutions were not an indicator of instability. Rather, they showed the human tendency of not being suppressed. Although we have lived through an extremely incumbent period, it had its merits as well. Terrorists were nabbed or killed; Dictators overthrown and long standing issues were finally solved (and if not, were close to be resolved). Thus, as a citizen of the global community, I proudly believe that the changing seasons are not an autumn of decay but rather the spring of progress. The transition may be rough but salvation is definite because no battle was won without some pain. As technological improvements continue to bring us together, we as a civilization continue to bond together in a blanket of oneness.
To conclude, I reflect on Shakespeare’s immortal lines,
“All the world’s a stage, 

and all the men and women merely players”

If all of mankind is merely but a player in the bigger theatre, let’s not squabble over materialistic gains but instead, rejoice in the beautiful music and rhythm of peace and harmony.
Changing Seasons; Spring Of Progress Or Autumn Of Decay?

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