He is the original bankster of Indian literature who turned an otherwise nondescript banking atmosphere into a high voltage thrillers. In our Chai Time, we have Ravi Subramanian, author of Bestselling Indian Fictions: If God was a Banker, The Incredible Banker and The Bankster. In his upcoming novel ‘Bankerupt’ releasing 20th September, Ravi Subramanain takes us on a roller coaster ride spanning three continents where he creates an impeccably researched world where everyone has a motive to kill driven by desire and greed.
Let’s get a head start on your new release Bankerupt. How about a one liner on what to expect?
Racing heart beat, pulsating action, riveting plot, a shocking end, and pure unadulterated reading pleasure.
If Bankerupt is made into a film, what would be your ideal film cast?
Aamir Khan, Robert Downey Jr, Orlando Bloom, John Voight, Naseeruddin Shah, Kevin Costner, Arjun Rampal and Deepika Padukone. Given the canvas of the book (story spread over Mumbai, Boston & Mexico), it has to be an international film.
Would you like to share with readers an interesting thought process or incident during the writing of Bankerupt?
Bankerupt for me is a very special book for variety of reasons. Firstly it’s a very different book as compared to my other books. The story is set in three continents across the globe, and is the first truly international story penned by me. Secondly it’s the first book of mine with a new publisher – Penguin. My experience thus far, of working with them has been fabulous.
The genesis of the plot of Bankerupt was also in the most unexpected manner. I was discussing credit analytics and underwriting methodology with a professor from MIT Boston, when the discussion meandered towards life as a academician. A thirty-minute discussion extended to three hours and when I got out of the meeting, I had the theme for Bankerupt clearly buzzing in my head.
Are you planning to have Karan Punjabi, the character we saw both in ‘Incredible Banker’ and ‘The Bankster’ as a mainstay character in your future fictions? Is he involved in Bankerupt?
All I can say is that the Bankerupt is a very different book as compared to the previous ones that I have written. Unlike those, banking is only a subplot in this thriller. That said, I desperately wanted to bring Karan Panjabi back in this book. But Karan is a very very strong character. Getting him back without a role befitting his stature would have been criminal. Hence I had to drop him from the plot
How does the banking fraternity react to your fictions?
Should they react any differently than what they normally do? My books are fiction which have thus far been set in the exciting world of global banking. Thrillers, by nature, reveal the darker side, leading people to believe that the world of banking is all full of fraudsters. But that’s not true. My books also have good bankers in them, but since thrillers are all about crime and frauds, it’s the Bankster who gets remembered. People have not changed their approach towards me after I started writing. In fact these days, I get a number of calls / mails from people saying that they have some interesting real life incidents which they would want to share with me. Writing has helped me make new friends, both within and outside the world of banking.
Being a CEO and an author must be quiet demanding on you, what is your writing process? Please describe a typical day.
I am an owl writer. I write at night. My typical writing day is from 9.30 to 12.30AM. Sometimes when I am writing and am in the flow, the writing day extends to early hours of the morning. When you enjoy doing something, even if its demanding, it doesn’t bother you. For me writing is a passion. It helps me distress after a long day at work. Hence I quite love the combination of my day job and my writing career. One without the other would not hold the same excitement for me.