i read this book perhaps 6 months ago and as i was wondering of writing a book review of something i read, i couldn’t think of any other book than this.

so, i heard of Shantaram from a friend at Bangalore and he gave a short explanation for the books importance. all he said was that Jhony depp is going to play the roll of shantaram in its movie version. i dont know what has happend to it. but i did get to the book, without any further notice.

well, what do i say..

‘powerful, attention grabbing, gratifying and in short, the best narrative i have read in recent times.’

Set in the back drop of the 1980’s, when an armed robber and drug addict, Gregory David Roberts, escaped from Australian prison to India. from where he lives in the mumbai slum. In a narration that covers a decade of his life in India, gregory/Lin/ shantaram(a name given to him by his best friend’s mother meaning , the man of peace) he takes us into an extraordinary journey into the Bombay underworld, the slums and the notorious jail at arthur road, mumbai. i dont think i have read anyone write so well and beautifully about the shades of the Mumbai life, about the spirit and also did an open heart surjery of the indian village. Apart from setting up a free health clinic in the slums, and working as a money launderer and forger, he also learns marati and hindi, making them the quintessentials in mumbaikaar life.

also, there is Karla Saraneen, the lady whose green eyes unfold a lot as the story progresses. Apart from all these, he does act in bollywood and even goes to Afganistan to fight with the Mujahedeen.

it is an overall eye gouging adventure, a love saga and yet very lyrical.

Th cruelties of the jail, where he is arrested without any chargeable offense and tortured are very beautifully narrated.

The most captive part of the story is this part, which is yet in the starting page of the story as it drags you into the journey, through the heart of Mumbai, to Australia, and also extends to a journey via Pakistan to Afganistan.

my favourite part starts…

It took me a long time and most of the world to learn what i know about love and fate and the choices we make, but the heart of it came to me in an instant, while i was chained to a wall and being tortured. I realised, somehow, through the screaming in my mind, that even in that shackled, bloody helplessness, i was still free, free to hate the men who were torturing me, or to forgive them….

if you havent read this book yet,  get your copies soon. this is one book you should read before you die.

thank you for reading, take care and God bless

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