Devil in Pinstripes: Ravi Subramanian; Rupa & Co, Rs.195, pp279.
Any contemporary topic gains interest if the author presents the story in the right perspective and develops the events with wisdom. It becomes, in fact, easier for a writer to write on the field he is working in and how to project the intricacies of the same through his imagination integrated to reality.
The new novel of Bank Officer Ravi Subramanian ‘Devil in Pinstripes’ brings forth the murky, mysterious and crafty world of corporate and foreign banking. The story could be autobiographic in some places as the protagonist Amit Sharma is an IIM-B graduate working in a foreign bank with a biotechnologist wife just like the author Ravi. Writers take events only from real life and those who could present the events with logical coherence appeal to any reader.
International banking, personal loans, credit cards are the new generation facilities which make many a common man’s life happier with facilities and luxuries of modern world. An economy which never allowed the less privileged to get any loan from banks changed a decade ago to the level of providing personal financial assistance even for a car driver with a fixed income. A boon indeed but do these facilities are used in proper way in a land like India where the population is mind boggling and chaotic where one could find integrity of the public at any level is at the lowest ebb? But, have we ever thought about the problems of the banker in providing the commoner such helping hand and their hectic life with risk looming large before them with internal squabbles, ego clashes and devious ways to undercut others in the path to power? The answers to these questions lie in the book ‘Devils in Pinstripes’.
How does it sound when a Managing Director of a leading New York International Bank (the same one he chose in his debut novel!) at Mumbai arrested with a non-bailable arrest warrant and taken to Bandra Police Station on one fine morning? That starts the story of ‘Devil in Pinstripes’ taking the reader through a rollercoaster ride on the aisles of the power packed international banking. The story runs with the pace of a crime thriller which is definitely the success of Ravi Subramanian who never allows the reader to put down the book at any juncture.
The characters are realistic and mostly all of us are likely to meet in our own professional lives though belong to different walks. Aditya Bhatnagar, the mentor and role model for Amit, Chanda his wife with a lot of individuality, Gowri who is a deceitful power monger and all the supporting characters Manish, Sangeeta, Rajesh, Victor, Thulasiram and several others who play vital roles in forging the events ahead.
Ravi Subramanian has proved that a racy novel need not have to be one with murder or mystery. Even the corporate corridors with people who are more power hungry and money minded in a country like India where coercing the people into simple to major crimes are possible could be of interest as well as information.
A good, powerful and worthy novel for elite readers who wanted to get an insight into the banking world and also to get educated; Subramanian proves that simple language style too can convey great ideas, keep the tempo alive without sounding pompous.