If you liked “If God was a Banker” and “Devil in Pinstripes”, here is another fiction based on banking world. But can Puneet Gupta, author of The Suicide Banker, bring a final balance sheet that adeptly handles various characters, their personal life and the banking environment? I am going to give the bank book audit for book lovers.
The protagonist, Sumit Sharma, makes a career shift from the safety net of public bank to the world of private bank, a working culture that can be quiet rewarding but in pressure cooker environment. The book narrates the upheavals both in his personal and professional life during this period. So typically we have here a young working parent struggling to balance work and family, the protagonist’s banking principles and outlook clashing directly with his bank’s wisdom of “turning conventional wisdom upside down” , a young assistant thrown into the picture, ambitious colleagues who considers him too old-fashioned and rigid and a banking market that can turn hot potato anytime. So the stage is set for a filmy masala story.
Sumit’s bank, Ind-Credit Bank, is on a phenomenonl growth thanks to the mega successful Agri-business venture, an out of box biz model, scripted by it’s executive director, Mohit Sharma. When the going is stupendous and with markets on a high, Sumit joins the bank as Head-credit monitoring. Soon, he picks up holes that annoys most of his colleagues who are intoxicated by ambitions and success. Shalini, his wife, finally picks up her career again after being a house wife for couple of years and joins as a journalist in a local media channel. With both deep neck at work, quality of family life suffers. Enter Annie, young simple girl who lost her father recently, as assistant to Sumit. Pretty soon, things change both in personal life and professional life and slow tremors build up only to be released with a force.
For a first time author, Puneet has digged well into his banking background to base the story. But then like Puneet mentions in the novel, the impact of statistics can always be interpreted differently so is the impact of the story on the readers. Average readers might find the banking industry dynamics in the novel bit dragging. The protagonist is not your dynamic, charged up hero. He is like many of us in real life – A middle class man with certain rigidness, few principles that he would cling to inspite of few other weakness that might threaten his fundamentals. The character could be a plus and minus point of the script and it all depends how you look at the story from your perspective. Like the characters of the story, even the author struggles to find a balance between the personal and professional side of the protagonist. After some spicy build up, Sumit – Annie’s relation is conveniently forgotten, so is Alec Steward, ex-bf of Annie who also works in Sumit’s team. Excusing few corny lines and a slight uneasiness while shifting between professional and personal stories, the language and narrative style of Puneet is fluid.
GingerChai Verdict: The Banker is definitely not a God but nevertheless an affable banker with normal human strengths and weakness that you can identify with.Read it, if you are a fan of fiction based on banking backdrop.
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