I interviewed Rahul Raina on the podcast I co-founded, Babble, and it was wonderful meeting the author who brought such an outrageously exciting story to life. You can watch this below!
This is a satire of modern India: Growing up in Old Delhi, Ramesh is poor, abused by his father, and looking towards a rather hopeless future. He’s clever, though. So clever, that he starts preparing for the All India Examninations, which are considered the entry gate to the western world. But his circumstances mean he doesn’t have the luxury of saying no when he is asked to sit the exam for someone else in exchange for a rather handsome fee… Years later, he’s selling the All India package for a premium while he can still pass as the right age, and when he accidentally scores the best mark in the country for a bratty kid called Rudi, everything gets a lot more complicated.
There’s a national television show called Beat The Brain where kids go up against Rudi (who is fully armed with an ear-piece and the answers), there are kidnappings, counter-kidnappings, counter-counter-kidnappings, love interests, stereotypes, and a whole lot of social commentary which plays out like the plot of a soap opera in an unquestionably deliberate and hilarious way.
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