Just completed reading the book Shantaram and its worth reading. The book is written by Gregory David Roberts, he was an armed robber and a heroin addict. He escaped from an Australian prison to Bombay (Mumbai) and the book Shantatram is all about his extraordinary life of eight years in India.
The book touches everything from thriller to love story to philosophies, yet it’s a slow paced and movie-like stories with facts. The author is known as ‘Lindsay’ or ‘Linbaba’ or ‘Lin’ in short by his friends and he is also known by the name ‘Shantaram’ in India given by an Indian women.
He arrived in India with the fake passport in the name Lindsay Ford. Upon arrival he meets Prakabar, a local guide and he visits Prabakar’s village, where he lost all of his possessions to the robbers. Hence, he is forced to live in the slum with Prakabar to shelter from the Indian authorities.
He led a life in Bombay slum consisting of around 25,ooo slum dwellers, where he opened a small health clinic and provided free medications to the slum dwellers upon fire breakdown in the slum and later dealt with the cholera outbreak. He became quite popular among the slums and the people there loved him so much and he even spoke Hindi and Marathi well.
Later he also joined the Bombay mafia and dealt fake passports, and involved drugs and weapon trade; went to the war against the Mujahideens in Afghanistan and he too had a love story. He was also involved in the local mafia wars in Bombay. He had friends in the movie industry and he even acted in the Bollywood movies. He has also been to Indian prison in Bombay, where he was tortured physically and later released by the Bombay mafia don lord Abdul Khader Khan, under whom he was working.
The story ends with his plan to go to war in Sri Lanka, where the war has broke between the Sri Lankan army and the Tamil Tigers. The literature is so good that he describes each and every moments beautifully. It’s a book that once you start reading, you don’t feel like stopping.