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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Censoring of the Internet, Right or Wrong?

For the past few days, India has been in an uproar over an outrageously bold idea by Mr.Kapil Sibal according to which the Internet should be censored. All of the NETizens have struck back tagging it from a vicious attack to the blabbering of a stupid bafoon. However I am somewhat in favour of this (Hold your guns people, let me explain). Although I am totally against the censoring of posts which affect a cause or a movement or something which is impersonal to the extent of us expressing our right to free speech, I wish to point out that the same rights protect all of us and them.Censoring of the internet to ban child pornography, virus-infested pages and sexual harrasement (fake or real naked pictures that are circulated faster than the speed of light) is viable, wanted and if implemented, is definitely appreciated. However when the government wishes to stop us from fighting for what we really believe in and has no ramifications to the morality of a proper society, outrage is expected and applauded for.Let me back up with an example.A few days ago, when I opened Youtube, the featured videos list included “School Girl Raped In the Toilet” and “Bollywood Actress Nude!”.This shocked me to no extent because that was the day when Mr.Sibal announced his censoring idea.It shames me to say that politicians are more worried about a teenager’s status update regarding his corrupt nature than a the outrageously bold manouver of destroying the image of an already victimised teenaged girl whose pain and anguish is not describable in words.

So, I just wish to sum up with an advice to all of us (not you but us because I am as much a part of the internet as you all are). Instead of fighting the idea of internet censoring,let’s fight for the censoring of things that need to be censored;and while we are at it, let’s start using the “Report as Spam” button which we are given.Now to the NETizen named Kapil Sibal, I will just say one thing.”Chill Dude! Post all your ideas on forums,discussion boards or as your own status on social networks,check the response and then start off with media interactions because you know what?WE choose you;You don’t get to choose us!”

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