Sacred GamesBook - 2007
Seven years in the making, Sacred Games is an epic of exceptional richness and power. Vikram Chandra's novel draws the reader deep into the life of Inspector Sartaj Singh--and into the criminal underworld of Ganesh Gaitonde, the most wanted gangster in India.
Sartaj, one of the very few Sikhs on the Mumbai police force, is used to being identified by his turban, beard and the sharp cut of his trousers. But "the silky Sikh" is now past forty, his marriage is over and his career prospects are on the slide. When Sartaj gets an anonymous tip-off as to the secret hide-out of the legendary boss of G-Company, he's determined that he'll be the one to collect the prize.
Vikram Chandra's keenly anticipated new novel is a magnificent story of friendship and betrayal, of terrible violence, of an astonishing modern city and its dark side. Drawing inspiration from the classics of nineteenth-century fiction, mystery novels, Bollywood movies and Chandra's own life and research on the streets of Mumbai, Sacred Games evokes with devastating realism the way we live now but resonates with the intelligence and emotional depth of the best of literature.
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Katekar had watched his sons lick their glistening, sweet fingers, and he had watched his wife’s face as she had put away the boxes and the new sari for herself, and he had marvelled at how generosity can be the subtlest of all weapons, and especially between sisters.
Sartaj sank down into his chair. He didn’t much mind the condescension. He was himself getting used to the idea that he was washed up, that he had reached the crest of his career and that he wouldn’t advance very far past his father’s rank. He knew now that he wasn’t going to be the hero of any film, even the film of his own life.
It was the uniform that terrified them, that brought back all those tales of police brutality collected over many generations. Even the ones who wanted help spoke warily around policemen, and the ones who didn’t need help tried to be overly friendly in case they ever did. Policemen were monsters, set aside from everyone else. But Parulkar had once told Sartaj, ‘We are good men who must be bad to keep the worst men in control. Without us, there would be nothing left, there would only be a jungle.’
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