An Eye for an Eye; Ashutosh Garg
A compelling saga of friendship, revenge, avarice, politics and religion spanning 7 decades, the book traces the trials and tribulations of the progeny of two close friends—Chand Ram and Shujaat Khan. One is the scion of a wealthy and influential nawabi family; the other is the son of an impoverished farmer, whose wizardry with the hockey stick takes him away from his humble background and on to the road to fame and fortune.
But the strong ties between the fathers have no meaning for their sons. Chand’s son, Ram, runs away from his remote Himalayan village when he’s just 11 years and comes to Delhi to seek his fame, fortune and destiny. At about the same time, Shujaat’s son leaves their palace in Faridgarh after a major earthquake and relocates to Delhi.
The story draws inspiration from the quote of Confucius “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves”
An unfortunate incident brings Ram into contact with the young nawab, Shaukat. This chance encounter sows the seeds of an animosity between the two that only intensifies as they grow older. As the years pass by, Ram’s burning ambition and determination to succeed drive him to establish a formidable business empire. Ram’s growing prosperity fills Shaukat, now a prominent politician and member of the Congress Party, with a rage that goes beyond reason.
And when Ram meets, woos and marries Rani, a beautiful and compassionate former princess, Shaukat takes a vow to annihilate this arrogant upstart who has dared to bulldoze his way into the upper echelons of society.
The plot thickens, as each tries to out manoeuvre the other through devious and often unscrupulous and corrupt means, and in the process reveal the havoc that greed and passion, spite and vengeance that can be wrought upon the lives of those closest to them. As the story spirals towards its inevitable shattering climax, it seems as if the two protagonists are caught in a tangled web of their own creation from which they cannot escape.
Extending across a period of more than seventy years and traversing through some of the most significant and turbulent events of India’s historical past including the impact the independence movement and the emergency have on the life of the protagonists, this is a story of relationships – between fathers and sons, husbands and wives – that are torn apart by pride and long-standing resentments and supposed injustices.
Above all, it is a story of friendships and bonds that stand the test of time and circumstance, crossing all social, cultural and religious barriers to prove that there’s more to life than hate and enmity, power and money, business and politics, fear and violence.
The author is the Chairman of Guardian Pharmacies and the author of the bestselling books, Reboot. Reinvent. Rewire: Managing Retirement in the 21st Century (Collins); The Corner Office (Rupa) and The Buck Stops Here – Learnings of a #Startup Entrepreneur (Penguin and Rupa).
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