Chitra Banerjee चित्र बनर्जी , “The Mistress of Spices: A Novel”, 1997 was the topic of an earlier blog post.
Monisha Rajesh मोनीषा राजेश ,“Around India in 80 Trains”, 2012 also was the topic of an earlier blog post.
Here I present: Vikas Swarup, “Question and Answer: Slumdog Millionnaire”, 2008 which was the debut novel for the Indian writer.
The book consists of fourteen (14) chapters; and, the first sentence of each chapter is shown BELOW.
Chapter #. “Chapter First Sentence”.
- “I have been arrested, for winning a quiz show: they came for me last night, when even the stray dogs had gone off to sleep.”
- “The third bell has sounded, the purple velvet curtain is about to be raised, the lights are progressively dimming, till only the red signs showing EXIT remain glowing like embers in the darkened hall.”
- “If you have been to Delhi by train, you must have visited Paharganj: in all probability you would have arrived at the noisy and dusty Pahargani railway station.”
- “You should take a good look at all sides of an issue before making a decision: put something away in case of an emergency.”
- “The Sun seems weaker, the birds less chirpy, the air more polluted, the sky a shade darker: when you have been plucked from a beautiful big bungalow, with a loveky sunlit garden, and dumped in a crumbling house where you are forced to live in a crowded dormitory with dozen of other kids, a jaundiced life view.”
- “Name, sex, and age, Please Sir, says the timid looking census man standing on the porch wearing thick, black-rimmed glasses: he carries a sheaf of forms with him and fiddles with with a blue felt pen.”
- “Khallas finished, I say speaking curtly – No More Whiskey – bar closed now, go home.”
- “New Delhi’s Paharganj railway station is humming with sound crawling with people: the gray platforms are bathed in white light.”
- “Like clockwork, the air-raid siren wails at precisely eight-thirty in the evening, leading to frenzied activity in the chawl: residents follow the instructions that were announced by loudspeaker the whole of last week in anticipation of an outbreak of hostilities.”
- “There are many hazards to walking in an absent-minded manner on the roads of Mumbai: you can inadvertently slip on a banana peel and go skidding.”
- “A family drama with doses of comedy and action, ending eventually in tragedy: in film parlance, this is how I would describe the time I spent with Neelima Kumari.”
- “Food that is all I can see, hear, think-about, and smell on the crowded and noisy railway platform where I have been standing in my cotton shirt and Levi’s jeans for the past two hours”.
- “We are in the commercial break: Prem Kumar is in a corner, conferring with the long-haired producer: I look around the studio, at the nice paneling, the spotlights, the multiple cameras, the high-tech sound system.”
- “Six months have passed since the longest night in my life: Smita remained true to her word, she fought for me like a mother fights for her children.” END. “Why did you throw away your lucky coin: I won’t need it anymore, because luck comes from within”.