Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Game Changers - Kiran Kumar

Kiran Kumar is an occasional writer and a first time novelist. He works in a leading IT multinational company and as a passionate young man should, has many views on the world around him. He is a friend of my friend Shanti, so we all met over coffee last week. Kiran shared with me his experience and reason for writing this book. He was kind enough to give me a copy of the book 'The Game Changers' and asked me to read it.
Notion Press, 320 p, Rs. 399
The title is interesting - it hints at something suave and slick, some big change around the corner that comes over you like the third act of a magic trick. The setting is very contemporary - the IT hub of Hyderabad. And the characters are so new age that you wonder when you got so old.

Anyway, a brief teaser. We pick up young, beautiful, vivacious Suman's life when she is about to enter engineering college. A chance meeting with a beggar girl who seems to bring her luck on an otherwise unlucky day makes Suman superstitious about her new lucky charm. Life goes on - friends, freshers parties, loves, break ups, futures and its time for farewell parties. An intense and forgettable incident causes her deep distress and Suman's loses her grip over her life, misses exams etc. She gets back on track with the help of friends and family, gets a job and finds her lucky charm again on the day she gets her job. Suman's efforts to give the young beggar girl a normal life, to adopt her and what happens thereon leads to a high energy, action packed climax.

'The Game Changers' is a good effort for a first time writer. The characters are credible, the plot has twists and turns that are not predictable, there is this energy which keeps you turning the page to find out what happens next and the setting is highly contemporary. It's evident from the manner of the book and even when one speaks with Kiran that he wants to change many things and he is in a hurry to do it too. There are many ideas, many solutions and also the realization that it is we, the people, who need to do something about it. I liked the way he went about layering the plot with two or three sub plots and kept unravelling them at just the right time. Nicely done. Lots of effort to do a good job and it shows.

More importantly I am glad he chose to write about something he believes in and cares about, instead of taking the easier route and writing something about what we think sells.

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