Shantaram – Gregory Roberts

Summary: Lin, a convict in Australian prison for heroin and other odd stuffs, escapes prison and lands in India with a forged visa/passport. He steps into the city that absorbs and transforms into Linbaba. Bombay or Mumbai as it is called now had in store much more than he could have ever imagined.

Prabhakar gives Lin a taste of India – from leopalds café to the slums to the standing babas – he helped Lin explore the city that seemed to have no ends! He takes him to his own village – Sundar – Where Lin gains an experience of a lifetime and a name – Shantaram!

Back in Mumbai, Lin gets involved in helping people in slum a bit of teaching English and learning the hard truths of life in return. Then comes our heroine Karla – The words of wisdom! After a brief stint in Bollywood Lin gets involved with the underworld and crimes.  Life, words and philosophy unfolds…

Review: The first time someone suggested this book, I had decided – not my choice! “Shantaram” for some reasons I quipped ‘nah’!!! The first time I set my eyes on the book in the landmark store in Andheri – again my reaction was the same! ‘Nah’!!! 1000 odd pages! But then, when I left Mumbai, and somehow with utmost nostalgia and weepiness went to unwind in Crosswords, M.G. Road Bangalore, I browsed through this – Just coz I wanted a taste of Mumbai!!!! And guess what??? I fell in LOVE..or rather I was head over heels in love with this book! For someone who was so sorry to leave Mumbai– this book was elixir! It saw Mumbai the very same way – I saw it! When everyone else argued the city to be crowded and polluted, I claimed it just absorbed you. You’re probably struggling – but somehow with no qualms. You wear yourself out – working your day that you have no time to worry for your future! I fell in love with his words and with his view on the city. I felt 16 again! Musing over those lines of love and life and trust! It seemed that I was having a ‘tryst’ with those words and the cover page somehow reminded me of a flame and I felt that it had indeed kindled a fire of passion in me! A passion for words, a passion for the memories, Mumbai has gifted me!

Advice: Ofcourse! It is your pick, if you – like Mumbai, like poetic words, like philosophy, like love, like a lill adventure, like truth, like to have a glimpse of real life…

Well – If you don’t like any of the above then Im left with this expression! :-0!!!

Verbivore’s say –  Mojito! Left me to waltz with words!


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