Sacred Games is a literary novel that is also a crime novel, a detective story, and a thriller. Sartaj Singh, a seasoned and cynical Bombay police officer, is summoned by an anonymous tip one morning, by a voice which promises him an opportunity to capture the powerful Ganesh Gaitonde, criminal overlord of the G-Company. The confrontation between Sartaj and Ganesh lies at the heart of this epic novel.
BNA-Germany: How it comes to write such a book and which researches have you done about Bollywood to describe all things so detailed?
Vikram Chandra: In my last book I introduced the character of the police officer Sartaj Singh. Now in my new book this character observes the activities of the underworld. That’s what the book is about. I made my researches with criminal journalists and the police and get a deeper insight into the milieu. During my researches I did get to know both sides of the law. In Mumbai every little child knows about the relation between corruption and organized crime.
BNA-Germany: Are you afraid of threats by the underground, now as you book is published?
Vikram Chandra: My wife asks me the same question all the time. My researches for the book took me only ten percent of the whole work as an author. The book isn’t based on my researches but on fiction. The main challenge of my work was to write down the story and to alive the story. I want to emphasize that the novel is fictive and that there aren’t any direct relation to any living persons or events. If I had wrote anything concrete there would be a reason of being afraid. The worst case that could happen, would be if the “company” felt personal defensive.
BNA-Germany: How did your wife reacted to the book?
Vikram Chandra: She was the first one who read my book. Two days later she came to me and said: ‘I hate you for making it impossible to not love this Ganesh guy.’ That was one of my best days in my life as it has shown me that I reached my aim with this book.
BNA-Germany: Which aim did you have?
Vikram Chandra: I made very important experiences while making my researches: Before starting the researches one thinks: ‘ These guys are monsters.’ But the more contact I had with the underground the more I learned about their own little world, with all their own sorrows and problems. They aren’t different to me or other persons. It doesn’t make a difference which social circumstances anybody comes from; because everybody has the same problems. I hope and I wish that this point becomes clear in the book. The reader should try to understand the activities and reasons for acting and the aims of the Dons. I dedicate this book to all the poor souls, the heroes of our daily life living in Mumbai, as they try to cope with their lives despite all their hard circumstances and the corruption. With this book I declare my love to Mumbai.
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