By Vishnu Makhijani
New Delhi– Abide by the law to be protected by it; break the law and be answerable to it; if you think you are above the law, then there is only “Fear of God” says crime writer Vardhan, whose new book, which reflects real-time corrupt practices in the public domain, is to be adapted for the big screen.
“I am one of those guys who is frustrated with the absolute apathy for the law by the common man and the elite alike. An average Indian is defiant of the law. They have a sense of pride in boasting about flaunting the law. That is the primary advantage taken by the wheeler-dealers when they manipulate the average Indian and the legal system,” Vardhan, who traces his roots to Eluru in Andhra Pradesh, was born and brought up in Chennai, and who is a lawyer by qualification, told IANS in an email interview of this third book, which has been published by Tree Shade Books.
“So, I started looking at a what-if scenario: Abide by the law to be protected by it; break the law and be answerable to it; but if you think you are above the law, then there is only ‘Fear of God’,” he said.
The book is meticulously researched, including studying the various types of corruption that occur in India.
“Every act of corruption cited in the book is a reflection of a real-time corrupt practice in the public domain,” Vardhan said, adding had to bend backwards “to get the stuff right”.
For instance, the CBI office structure, even the design of the
cubicles, cutting off of air-conditioning during weekends to save costs, the design of the office, the designations of the officers, some of the investigative methods within the agency “is as close as it can get to real life (except for the situation room and certain other poetic licenses that I had to take as an author),” Vardhan explained.
India’s criminal justice system was closely studied. “The due process of law, the court hearings, etc., are as close as they can get to real life. Obviously, some parts are fictionalised to keep the pace of the book up,” he added.
The weapons used by the characters was part of the research, whether it was the Red Hawk .45 calibre pistol or the Russian made sniper rifle – its reticle, the nail gun, etc, were researched in terms of their efficacy for the situation.
“Of course, I did not deem it fit to actually fire a weapon or use a knife. I had to research on it. I even needed to understand if an investigator can predict the calibre of a weapon based on the size of a bullet wound,” Vardhan said.
What then, is the book all about?
A vigilante decides to bring corruption to its knees by simply killing corrupt people holding public office. When there is no public trial and no access to due process of law, the chance of execution for corrupt practices instils fear of God into the corrupt. High profile murders throw the entire law enforcement machinery into a tizzy and the CBI’s Special Crimes Division is brought in.
When the killer announces his next target to be a constitutional lawyer and a war hero with a clean record, the CBI decides to use him as bait to catch the vigilante. Only thing is, the war hero appears to have his own agenda.
Will the CBI’s plan work or will it spiral out of control? A legendary law enforcement officer, a war hero who took three bullets for the country and a vigilante spreading his own fiery brand of justice are pitted against each other. Who is the last man standing? Read the book to find out!
How did the screen adaptation come about?
“Sidharth Jain of Story Ink is a good friend and my adaptation agent. He was part of the ‘Fear of God’ book launch in Mumbai. He was impressed with the book and said he would be happy to pitch it. As luck would have it, within two months of the launch of the book, it was picked up for a full length Hindi movie,” Vardhan said.
Which production house will be handling the movie?
“That is under wraps right now. They will make a public announcement shortly,” he said.
To what extent will he be involved in the scripting and other aspects?
“It is not clear at the moment since we are at the very beginning. All I know as of now is that I will be consulted for scripting the story,” he said.
What of the future?
“I’ve just completed by next manuscript that I have been working on for a long, long time now. It is a mystery thriller around temples of India. I truly, truly enjoyed writing this book. I am curating it right now,” Vardhan concluded. (IANS)