The first sentence of the book – “I HAVE BEEN ARRESTED.” ” For winning a quiz show.” Now why in the world would he be arrested? The answer? Ram Mohammed Thomas is an orphan in the middle of one of the largest slums in the world – India. He has lead a pretty good life, and one of unimaginable hardship – No food, no place to live, uneducated formally, he comes through all of this helping who he can, and most importantly helping himself to having something, anything in the midst of chaos, corruption, lies, violence, sex, and hopelessness.
His adventures begin while he was staying in a rectory of a catholic church where the priest takes him in and takes care of him and teaches him many things. He has lived in “chawls” (slums) where even the basic necessities of life are fought over. He has had jobs where he talks to people and finds out about their deepest darkest secrets. He has met celebrities, and heads of state from different countries. And yet, he still sees the good in people, while trying to find a way or an opportunity to make his own life better. But after all of this, he is only out for one thing – Revenge.
He appears on India’s version of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” which is called “Who Will Win A Billion” and through his life experiences he manages to answer the questions one by one. Until, well, I’ll keep mum about this, I wouldn’t want to spoil it for anyone.
The movie version itself was just as good, and rightly so, shows the darker side of humanity and the lighter side as well. There is this feel of wanting a better life, and striving hard for it. No matter how hard it is, you just keep on doing it. Sure, you will come across people that aren’t exactly honest and upfront, you just deal with it, and go on wanting to have a better life even though you look into the future and feel as though you are stuck, you just have to have to faith and energy to go on, and hope it does get better.
I would definitely recommend the book and or the movie, or even both. The movie has been nominated and won many Golden Globes, Screen Actor Guild Awards, and is nominated for many Oscars.
This is book number three i have read for the Warm Up to Winter Reading Challenge.