Name of the book: Shikari: The Hunt
Author: Yashwant Chittal (Translated by Pratibha Umashankar-Nadiger)
Publisher: Penguin Random House India
Number of pages: 352 pages
What would you do if you are stuck right in the centre of an angry lava? What would you when you are backstabbed by the people you admire and believe the most? How do you deal with the politics in your life? Do you hunt or get hunted? If you do not find these questions intriguing nothing else will. Finding books that turn on the nail biting mode in you is quite difficult that too when they are translated from a different language. Written way back in 1979 one must bow down to the vision of Yashwant Chittal who even in that era could visualize a book that portrays the dirty games of underbelly politics and its effect on people who dedicatedly work for an organization. Following is an insight of the story.
The story revolves around Nagappa who works as a Senior Manager in an esteemed organization. He gets embroiled in an ugly crime which he has not committed and thus becomes a scapegoat of the corporate politics. An accidental fire at the company’s Hyderabad factory claims three lives and Nagappa is being accused for the accident. By the time Nagappa figures out that he has been wrongly framed he is neck down in the slush. Nagappa is stuck amidst a bunch of hungry sharks mus either swim or die.
The number of accusers, the legal letters and even the law are standing against him holding him responsible for the entire incident. In the middle of all this, when Nagappa decides to delve into the matter he understands that he has been framed by none other than the company’s Deputy Managing Director Mr.Phirooz Bandookwala. And thus begins the game of the hunter and the hunted. Nagappa has to play with all the risks possible to prove himself innocent.
Talking about characterization of the protagonist and antagonist, the author makes you feel sympathized for Nagappa as well as on the other hand makes you cringe for the evil notoriety of Bandookwala. Work place politics is something we face at one or the other level in our day today lives. However, talking about the same way back in 1979 is where the crux of the book lies. The author has created precise scenarios where in you are exposed to the world of underbelly corporate politics and the aftermath that follows with it.
The only breaking point of the book is it moves at an extremely slow pace compelling you into ditching chapters and shuffling a bit. The suspense of each scenario has been dragged thereby breaking contact with the reader. Overall Shikari gives you a feel of the 1979 era, at a time when the concept of corporate was still in its nascent stages. Very few books actually trigger that craving of what is going to happen next and Yashwant Chittal’s Shikari undoubtedly does it.
Taking a look at how corporate works today and the way people get entangled in its politics through the eye of Shikari is indeed amazing. It leaves you with shock and also gives you some food for thought. The changing face of corporate today takes you closer to the book where in you are able to relate with all the instances placed in the book. The way the story begins and proceeds further is something to surely lookout for in this book. For people who love mysteries and thrillers this is one book which must adorn your shelf. You easily relate to Nagappa and the way in which he fights against all odds and obstacles to set free from the shackles of lie and emerge as the winner.
Ignoring the slow pace of the book if asked to rate this book on a scale of 5 will rate this book with 3.9 stars. Time to be the hunter or the hunted!!