Thursday, July 9, 2020
Home Variety Books ‘Predators and Prey’. Mounted on a big canvas, Abhinav Agarwal’s book is a fast-paced...

‘Predators and Prey’. Mounted on a big canvas, Abhinav Agarwal’s book is a fast-paced thriller ready for a movie script

You will enjoy guessing who the various characters are modelled after. The easy guess is the dour, dedicated National Security Advisor. But who’s the Media Moghul who’d sell the country for power and money? Who, the lecher who molests a woman colleague in a lift?

Also Read

D V Sridharanhttp://apersonalindia.blogspot.in/
Between 2000-06, I published www.goodnewsindia.com and since 2006 have been restoring 17 acres of wasteland and reporting it at www.pointReturn.com. In 2004, having entered my 70s, I discovered I was a Hindu really, thanks to intellectual phoneys and secular humbugs in the media and politics. I primarily write at apersonalindia.blogspot.in

I haven’t yet met Abhinav Agarwal but I can tell from his messages and articles, he’s a serious scholar, a bibliophile, a technocrat and a Mahabharata-junkie.

When I heard his debut novel was a thriller, I was a bit surprised. The first surprise, of course, is that he took this long to write his first book. The second is, that he did not write a scholarly book instead of a thriller.

But as I read through, I realised the book is a wrapper for many messages beyond spies, blood and gore. If the author had intended a parable for how India has come to prevail over millennia, he brings it off.

The novel ‘Predators and Prey’ works at many levels.

In the foreground is a political thriller that grabs you by the scruff of your neck and drags you breathlessly through its 350 pages. Thrillers are not what I usually read, but this put me in the same frame of excitement as ‘The Day of the Jackal’ did many decades ago.

The book is ready to shoot a movie script or, to put it better, reading it you feel you are watching a movie.

The plot is mounted on a big canvas. There are Americans, Chinese and those minions of anyone that hires them, the Pakistanis. And not a few homespun traitors.

A young Indian American who works for the US National Security Agency discovers how intrusive and relentless the American spy establishment is: every call you make, message or mail you send, the photo you click, trip you take is as Agarwal puts it, ‘slurped’ by the US system. And more chillingly, these needles in the immense and ever-growing data haystack can be retrieved with ease and speed to serve American interests.

This young man steals India relevant data from there, arrives in India and the ride begins and runs without let up till the end. You’ll enjoy the non-stop action narrated with great ease.

I won’t spoil it for you with more details here except to say his plotting and detailing are meticulous.

They say a good novel teaches you facts you didn’t know. Agarwal zaps you with details of cars, gadgets, guns and geographies.

If you have the stomach for the craft of killing, you have a feast here. Agarwal has a schoolboy’s enthusiasm for gory medical stuff. I now know if I drove a barbecue skewer into someone’s throat deep enough for it to come out the other end, I’d cut the jugular vein, sever the trachea and cause a hematoma. If I scooped eyeballs out of someone’s sockets they’d ‘dangle by the rectus muscle.’ I also now know how to fracture someone’s ‘cricoid cartilage’ and crush his windpipe.

Useful information, did you say? Well, I was, in fact, telling you about the verisimilitude the author manages on whatever he describes.

You will enjoy guessing who the various characters are modelled after. The easy guess is the dour, dedicated National Security Advisor. But who’s the Media Moghul who’d sell the country for power and money? Who, the lecher who molests a woman colleague in a lift?

The takeaway for me is the way Agarwal ends up depicting the vulnerability India is under. Pakistanis run an India-wide network of contract killers. Senior bureaucrats leak secrets. Chinese snoop on us using telecom hardware. Americans, sit at a technology cutting edge decades ahead of anyone, monitoring the world round the clock like some boys at a parlour.

India’s existential threat is real. One realises how important that it be led by someone unbuyable and focussed on national security.

Luckily for India, its soil and Mahabharata’s foresight on what works and what doesn’t, are inextricably related -as if they were some well-segued hardware and software.

It is this that has stood by us.

Here’s Dr Ameen Rizvi who at great personal risk, shelters a Rashtriya Rifles commando and his two wards who are pursued by ISI’s contract killers.

When asked by them why he has taken such a great personal risk, he replies:

“Do you know your Mahabharata? When the Pandavas had to spend a year in exile, they went to the kingdom of Virata. They stayed there for a year among people in anonymity. Had Duryodhana found them out, Dharma would have lost. In my own way, I feel I am doing my bit for Dharma.”

This land has been the prey for an unending stream of predators and has prevailed over them all.

Obviously many have caused Dharma to work.

‘Predators and Prey’ available at this link.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

D V Sridharanhttp://apersonalindia.blogspot.in/
Between 2000-06, I published www.goodnewsindia.com and since 2006 have been restoring 17 acres of wasteland and reporting it at www.pointReturn.com. In 2004, having entered my 70s, I discovered I was a Hindu really, thanks to intellectual phoneys and secular humbugs in the media and politics. I primarily write at apersonalindia.blogspot.in

Trending now

Netizens ask Netflix to cancel comedian Kenny Sebastian’s special show after he hurls obscene abuses

Social media users are demanding that Netflix reconsiders special show of Indian comic Kenny Sebastian after he was allegedly found hurling obscene abuses to people on his Instagram page.

Uttar Pradesh: Two aides of criminal Vikas Dubey shot dead by the police, 3 killed so far

Prashant Mishra, an aide of Vikas Dubey, was shot in the leg while trying to escape during his transit to Kanpur. He was admitted in hospital in a critical condition and later succumbed to injuries.

Jammu and Kashmir: Ex-BJP district President Wasim Bari killed by terrorists, father and brother also murdered

Former BJP Bandipora President Wasim Bari killed by terrorists who shot at him outside his shop

Turkey govt plans to convert Byzantine cathedral Hagia Sophia into a mosque again. Read about this historical symbol of Muslim-Christian rivalry

Hagia Sophia, originally a Christian cathedral, was converted into a mosque and then into a museum, will be converted to mosque again

Only Muslims go to heaven, Ravish Kumar-like non-Muslims can only hope for a mild level of hell: Dr Zakir Naik explains

Naik said that virtues like honesty and charity cannot ensure qualifying marks for heaven or Jannah. Only Muslims can go to heaven and non-Muslims will go to hell by default, he says.

Muslims hurled abuses and casteist slurs, attacked us with sharp weapons: Mahadalits in Begusarai

Victim Shankar Paswan claimed that members of Muslim community addressed Mahadalits with casteist slurs before attacking them with weapons

Recently Popular

Australian surfer Carmen Greentree abducted and raped for 2 months in a houseboat in Kashmir in 2004, pressurised to convert to Islam

Carmen Greentree has penned a book titled "A Dangerous Pursuit of Happiness" narrating her abduction and rape in Kashmir.

Jyoti Basu is the mass murderer India forgot

Please don’t feel bad about speaking ill of the Late Jyoti Basu. If there is another world, be certain that there are (at least) 28,000 voices from the other side backing you up.

Only Muslims go to heaven, Ravish Kumar-like non-Muslims can only hope for a mild level of hell: Dr Zakir Naik explains

Naik said that virtues like honesty and charity cannot ensure qualifying marks for heaven or Jannah. Only Muslims can go to heaven and non-Muslims will go to hell by default, he says.

Payal Rohatgi’s Twitter account suspended, the actress says she is being targeted by ‘liberals and extremists’

Payal Rohatgi has stated that her efforts to share facts has been projected in a bad light by liberals and extremists who control Twitter.

The dark, disturbing world of mean and hateful ‘sly’ Bollywood insider gossip featuring Rajeev Masand, PinkVilla and others

Following Sushant Singh Rajput's suicide, prominent film journalists and critics were accused of writing vile 'blinds' aka unverified, vile gossip.

Bhopal: 55-year-old Sabir Ali enters dairy farm and rapes a cow, arrested after CCTV footage revealed crime

Incidentally, the CCTV camera in the dairy farm captured the ghoulish incident, where the accused had stealthily entered and brutalised the animal.

Netizens ask Netflix to cancel comedian Kenny Sebastian’s special show after he hurls obscene abuses

Social media users are demanding that Netflix reconsiders special show of Indian comic Kenny Sebastian after he was allegedly found hurling obscene abuses to people on his Instagram page.

Uttar Pradesh: Two aides of criminal Vikas Dubey shot dead by the police, 3 killed so far

Prashant Mishra, an aide of Vikas Dubey, was shot in the leg while trying to escape during his transit to Kanpur. He was admitted in hospital in a critical condition and later succumbed to injuries.

Latest updates and important links about COVID-19 coronavirus

Live statistics and tracking of news related to COVID-19 coronavirus with focus on India.

Veteran Bollywood actor Jagdeep dies at 81

Jagdeep is father of Bollywood actor Javed Jafri.

Jammu and Kashmir: Ex-BJP district President Wasim Bari killed by terrorists, father and brother also murdered

Former BJP Bandipora President Wasim Bari killed by terrorists who shot at him outside his shop

Watch: BJP’s Sambit Patra and Congress’ Gaurav Vallabh hurl Sukanya Devi and Ranga-Billa cases at each other in intense TV debate

When Congress spokesperson equated Rajnath Singh and Amit Shah with Ranga-Billa, BJP's Sambit Patra raised Sukanya Devi rape case

Indian Army decides to ban 89 apps for its personnel: Here are the details

Other than Chinese apps there are other few apps like Facebook, Instagram, etc which the Indian Army has also banned for its personnel

Mahesh Bhatt predicted her end, threw chappal at her: Kangana Ranaut’s team denies Pooja Bhatt’s claims about Bhatts helping Kangana

Bollywood has always preferred to promote its own progeny and by denying, Pooja Bhatt is running away from the undeniable fact

Turkey govt plans to convert Byzantine cathedral Hagia Sophia into a mosque again. Read about this historical symbol of Muslim-Christian rivalry

Hagia Sophia, originally a Christian cathedral, was converted into a mosque and then into a museum, will be converted to mosque again

UP police arrest suspended SHO Vinay Tiwari and KK Sharma for tipping Vikas Dubey about the raid

UP police arrested suspended SHO Tiwari and Beat In-charge Sharma of Chaubeypur police station for tipping Vikas Dubey ahead of police raid.

Connect with us

235,222FansLike
401,320FollowersFollow
271,000SubscribersSubscribe