BY GREGORY DAVID ROBERTS
THE TITLE OF THE BOOK, SHANTARAM, is derived from the Marathi Name that the author Gregory had been given by his Friend Prabaker’s Mother, which means “MAN OF PEACE” OR “MAN OF GOD’S PEACE”. SHANTARAM is a Novel based on many of the Author’s True Life Experiences, and supposedly, some fictional bits added. The Australian Author, Gregory David Roberts, who had been a heroin addict and a convicted bank robber, escaped from the Pentridge Prison in 1980.
The book is a LONG READ, what with some 900 odd pages?.
WHY YOU SHOULD READ IT??? BECAUSE, it is jammed packed with great storytelling, taking its readers on the many adventures and dotted with some thought provoking Moral Purpose. The Extraordinary Storyline of SHANTARAM, takes us from the moments of Gregory’s breakout from prison, to his journey to, and within, India. There is a sense of actually feeling a part of his journey, from the moment he lands in Mumbai, his stay in the Mumbai slums, His ultimate “pull into’ a Mumbai mafia gang, and how he runs a Free Health care clinic in the slums, on his little medical knowledge from first aid training.
SHANTARAM, or rather LIN or LINBABA as he is often referred to in the storyline, makes time to learn Marathi and Hindi, so he is better able to communicate with all the people he deals with everyday. The storyline also meanders through Gregory’s Love Saga, and to his unfortunate and horrific time spent in an Indian Jail. Some bits are so vivid and gruesome, but this allows the reader to better grip on what Life in Mumbai is all about. The Author touches on only a few aspects of Mumbai Life, making mention of it through his journey, but the in-depth thoughts and stories about the slum and it’s people, are what makes for a real eye opener. SHANTARAM has numerous characters that make this book so unique, and the author brilliantly captures each character with finesse. There are times while reading the novel, that you would think You are watching scenes right out of a Bollywood Movie, and Bollywood is also what author Gregory had dabbled in a bit whilst he was in Mumbai. Another Character I enjoyed in the novel, was Khader Khan, affectionately called KhaderBhai, who although a DON of the Mafia gang, we see a side of him that brings forth a lot of thought provoking scenes, look out for a couple quotes of his from the book further down. Shantaram’s involvement with Khaderbhai, whom he LOVED as a father figure, leads to his involvement in illegal passport frauds and black market money laundering. And eventually, The GORA (WHITE MAN) is what the The Mafia Don had in mind, for his Jihad purposes to Afghanistan, where LINBABA , now a MUJAHEDEEN, plays an AMERICAN Decoy.
WILL LIN (SHANTARAM) RETURN BACK UNHARMED TO MUMBAI?
You are going to have to get yourself a copy of this BRILLIANT AND GRIPPING book, to find out more.
I highly recommend this book and it deservedly gets a FOODEVA MARSAY RATING of
5 STARS OUT OF 5
SOME INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES I ENJOYED FROM THE NOVEL SHANTARAM….
“THE BURDEN OF HAPPINESS CAN ONLY BE RELIEVED BY THE BALM OF SUFFERING”
~GREGORY DAVID ROBERTS~
“Sooner or Later, fate puts us together with all the people, one by one, who show us what we COULD, and SHOULDN’T , let ourselves become.”
SHANTARAM ~ Gregory David Roberts~
“EVERY virtuous act has some dark secret in its heart, and EVERY risk we take contains a mystery that can’t be solved” – Khader Khan (Mafia Don – Shantaram) ~Gregory David Roberts~
AND MY PERSONAL FAVOURITE, OF MANY….
“EVERY act of Suffering, no matter how small or agonisingly great, is a test of LOVE in some way. Most of the time, Suffering is also a TEST OF OUR LOVE FOR GOD.” – Khader Khan (Mafia Don in Shantaram) ~ Gregory David Roberts ~
HAVE YOU READ THIS NOVEL?, DO DROP ME YOUR FAVOURITE MOMENTS FROM THIS READ, OR YOUR FAVOURITE QUOTES FROM IT.