Fast-paced Thriller How To Kidnap The Rich
* Written in the autobiographical narrative voice of Ramesh Kumar – How to kidnap the rich is quick, lively, unpredictably savage and satirical
* Ramesh takes national entrance exam for Rudi and achieves top ranking nationwide
* Oscar nominated actor Riz Ahmed bought the rights to turn this book into a movie
The son of a tea seller comes out of the Delhi slums to become an educational consultant and the best in his profession. The education consultant label for Ramesh Kumar, however, is just a front for what the protagonist does, which the reader soon discovers. Ramesh writes exams as an attorney for “rich, stupid, lazy kids”.
With his first novel How to kidnap the rich, author Rahul Raina takes you on a hectic journey from the dark and dirty alleys of Kashmere Gate in Old Delhi to the posh homes of South Delhi. From the way he grabs the reader by the collar, one is sure to read a lot of him and him in the times to come.
Written with the autobiographical narrative voice of Ramesh Kumar – How to kidnap the rich is quick, crisp, unpredictably savage and satirical. The characters seem too familiar and the situations may seem cliché, but the Raina manages to weave a haunting story. A less gifted writer might bore you with Ramesh’s sheer verbosity, but Raina not. He’s blunt, in your face, vulgar, exaggerated at times but entertaining. It takes time and a dozen pages to get used to the liberal use of colloquialisms in everyday language, but as the plot thickens you let it be. The book has already started to receive a lot of praise for the satire and the pace at which the plot unfolds. Oscar nominated actor Riz Ahmed bought the rights to turn this book into a movie.
Ramesh takes a national entrance exam for Rudi and achieves the top ranking nationwide. It throws Rudi and his family into a different league, but Ramesh is too smart to be left behind. He signs up as Rudi’s manager, but not without some heated exchanges with Rudi’s rich, greedy and courageous father. The plot thickens when Ramesh and Rudi hit hard and are offered a television game show – “Beat The Brain”. One thing leads to another and the duo end up being kidnapped. All hell breaks loose from that point on and we’re on a roller coaster ride of cross kidnappings, double crosses to violent acts of cutting a finger and more.
A remarkable feature of this thriller is that Raina did not pass up any opportunity to make a satirical comment or remark on Indian society and the state of the nation’s affairs. Example: “Her father reminded me of the Maharaja, the Air India mascot, our beloved national airline joke. Fat, wise and cheerful, even though the airline itself lacked money, staff, still low in the international rankings, another of our great national disgraces, like the war of 62 and female illiteracy.
Raina’s skillful handling of the other characters in the story is what makes the drama go beyond the plot and bring it to life. Ramesh’s tea-seller father, his “client” and later his partner in crime, Rudi, then his sweetheart, Priya are extremely well built. However, for me, it’s the construction of the character – a French lady Claire – that changes Ramesh’s life. Her well-written role not only shows Raina’s mastery over her craft, but also portrays a rare sensibility that seems far beyond her age (Raina is 28). How to kidnap the rich Too many things come together in one, but one thing it lacks is the detail of the locations in Delhi it is in. The places find only their names in this wild history. Not that that takes anything away from the book, but some of those nuanced places of context and character could have made the thriller firmly entrenched in Delhi and even more thrilling.
Giraj Sharma is a brand consultant. A boy from Delhi out and out, he runs a blog called State of Delhi