I would like to thank Hachette India for sending me a copy of ‘Prisoner, Jailor, Prime Minister by Tabrik C’ for review. In the time when the next Assembly elections are just round the corner, the book made an interesting read. A gripping book, it is difficult to put down while reading and I must say, this review is a little late for a book which I finished in two days flat.
India has a new Prime Minister but is Siddhartha Tagore the product of his genius or of his dangerous mind?
India is on edge, as a subversive internal revolt against the Constitution, and the threat of Jehadi terror of an unthinkable level, are looming on the horizon.
Ringing Shiva’s damaru in and out of Parliament, a sudden turn of karma catapults outsider Siddhartha Tagore – a conflicted genius, music maestro and prodigal son, with forceful views on China and Pakistan- into national prominence as the head of the Opposition Alliance and finally as the newly elected Prime Minister of a disturbed nation.
But buried secrets are being resurrected and threaten to expose the past. Twisted within the double helix of menacing politics and hidden lust, Prisoner, Jailor, Prime Minister is a scorching account of Siddhartha Tagore’s fascinating journey from Harvard to 7 Race Course Road.
Sidhhartha Tagore, son of Ranjan Tagore, former MP, political luminary, Bengali aristocrat and land owner, goes to Harvard in 1985 to study classical music, especially Mozart with minor in political theory. Mozart and Tansen are his life and he is also a Tibet scholar (he is pro-Tibet and anti-China). As a child, he wanted to be an MP. Harvard calls him ‘The Mozart Man’.
Gregory Templar, the son of an Anglo Saxon American Catholic missionary and a Punjabi, Muslim Pakistani mother. He is there to study religion and physics. They are roommates in the Strauss Hall, rumoured to have an exciting pedigree- JFK lived there.
Rukmani Devi, Director of the Delhi School of Economics, D School, is the BJP Ruling Front’s one person, Nobel Prize winning think tank, and has an all pervasive say in the matters of the state, is unbound by Party discipline, and has marked her own path. She is an unorthodox creature and combines economics and cultural fervours and uses social media and internet to draw crowds.
Professor Gordon Thorbourn, Thor, Professor of Government at Yale and gets a visiting Professorship at D School. He supports Rukmani’s ideas but differs in the way of doing it, she wants a peaceful change but not him. He tries to find out about Sid’s past.
The story is set between the 1985 and 2017, it starts with Sid becoming the Prime Minister of India on 31st December 2016 and a lot of the story is in flashback starting from 1985.
1985: Sid meets Rubaya Jaykar, Ruby, of Radcliffe, who is studying Organic chemistry. Karisma is her identical twin. He suffers from bipolar disorder and is on lithium for life. Sid and Ruby get married in 1992 and she dies the very next day in a freak accident, leaving Sid devastated. He runs away from Mumbai and starts to perform in a village in New York and is hired to play music for a group of Indian Parliamentarians in New York. He comes back to Delhi in 1994 and reconnects with his father’s old friends and gets a ticket to the 1996 bye-election.
2016: Rukmani Devi has begun the Vedic Revolution of the 21st Century; a process of revolutionary change in the psyche of the nation till Sid comes along and becomes the Prime Minister. She wants a political reform and says that the political structure needs to change and he is there to protect the constitution.
I shall stop here because it would take the fun away if I went deeper into the story.
The title is catchy and the cover simple and fascinating. The characters are very lifelike and the story is interesting with lots of twists and turns. The language is simple and the flow is good. The book becomes fast paced after a little slow start till you get the hang of the book. It is one of those political thrillers with some emotions attached, emotions that tug at your heart and make you realize. There is suspense, the typical one which makes you keep on reading till the mystery is solved.
The author has written the book in the present and the book moves into flashback off and on. The book is written in two parts and the first part has the flashbacks and the second part moves forward from where he returns to India to his becoming the Prime Minister and so on. The book has been writt
en in first person reflecting the thoughts of Siddhartha and when it comes to the other characters, the book moves into third person, very smoothly. The research for the book has been done thoroughly.
I loved the book and would highly recommend it.
Book Source: Review Copy from Hachette India
Publisher: Hachette India