Books >Labyrinth and Controversy
Labyrinth and Controversy
Labyrinth is set in the sultry, hot and humid Chennai and it is not only the weather that gets criticised by the novel. Vikram Gupta and Kiran Arothe, both posted in Chennai away from their respective homes, find many characteristics of the city and its people that irk them.
"Anti Chennai? Whether I am anti-Chennai or not does not really matter here. It is just that the two blokes in the novel have a lot of things that's not going too well for them and they are not being helped by being in a city where they cannot identify with the weather, culture or the food. I think that's a common human trait," says the author.
But, has he not dwelt too much on the dark sides of Chennai, without too many opportunities of redemption for the city?
"There are dark and not so dark sides of every individual in the novel. And it is an account of my own experiences extrapolated by the circumstances faced by the characters of the book. My primary purpose was to tell a tale, humorous and exciting as well as thought provoking, and being politically correct was not a priority. If there is a hint of nastiness – or maybe more than just a hint – in some parts of the book, it is because of the character of the hero, who thrives in being direct and sarcastic. And I believe that is what adds to the appeal of the story. The reason people have come back with comments that it is a thrilling and honest read is that I have not tried to sacrifice the spontaneity of either myself of the hero on the altar of diplomacy."
But, is the author not apprehensive of being branded as anti … "If you think I am anti-Chennai because I am a Bengali, just read Big Apple Two Bites. I assure you the Bengalis have got a much worse end of my stick than the Chennai folks. And don't forget to check out some of my blogs – especially those about cricket. Any idea of regional bias will go out of the window and my brethren will be baying for my blood."
About the fictitious Adieu Consultancy Services, the software branch of the Adieu group – which has its presence in every sphere of life from salt to steel – the author is less direct and more seeped into his Senantix.
"Well, I did work for a company with whom I did not exactly bond," he quips.
"And as I have mentioned, it is an extrapolation of my experiences. Or let's put it this way, an extrapolation of my experiences at exploitation. That gives it a triple ex flavour."
Is he not wary of the repurcussions?
"Repurcussions? Who in the upper echelons of the software industry ever reads a work of fiction – except for the proposals that are sold to the client? So, I said TATA to my apprehensions long back." he says, underlining the meaning of Senantix.
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