Best Indian Gangster Book of All Time

February 12: Wastra, written by Rohan Kailasam, is a crime fiction novel that takes you on a journey through the death-stalked streets of Mumbai into the infamous dark world of the Mafia. With an engaging and spine-chilling plot, Sharing Stories, a book marketing firm, is anticipating the book’s possible film adaptation soon.

There are endless stories about Bombay, crime, drugs, death, and blood, but Wastra comes with unexpected, blood-curdling yet fascinating twists. With its brilliant plot shrouded in mystery, the book is already in discussions for movie adaptation. The elements of thrill and suspense scattered throughout the story keep the readers hooked to the edge. The book has all the abilities to trigger visual imagination in the minds of the readers. That is perhaps one of the reasons why illustrious filmmakers and producers are expressing interest for its cinematic adaptation.

Rohan Kailasam, the author, had spent most of his growing-up years in Mumbai. With his very first novel, he brings a fresh perspective and a new voice to the shady undertones of the Mumbai underworld.

Wastra, is an extraordinary story of an urban legend, a creature made of smoke and mirrors. Shalini Shanmugam, the crime reporter, and the protagonist chases to unearth the truth behind this legend.

Set in the streets of Mumbai, the book begins with a violent attract on the Churchgate railway tracks in the wee morning hours. It leaves behind a trail of dead bodies and a half-dead drug addict who is then hospitalized and kept under the watchful eyes of the cops. The task of case investigation drags Shalini into this death and blood quagmire. What looks like an unmotivated attack fails to catch her fancy initially. But gradually, as she stumbles upon the loosely hanging threads, she realizes there is a lot more to the story than what meets the eye.

Conversations with hospital staff and the hospitalized victim lead her to the chain of clues, and every clue leads her to unknown territories. Through endless twists and turns,, she lands up in the pit of gruesome untold realities. Throughout the story, she is seen unravelling the mysteries buried under the run-down bars of Coloba, battlefields of the Iran-Iraq war of the 80s, the Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka, and the Bombay communal riots of the 90s.

As Shalini traces her path through the haze of alcohol and drugs, an unexpected yet believable tale unfolds. But what causes the adrenaline rush is her race against the time to save the life hanging on the precipice. The story progresses towards an explosive climax when Shalini faces an unenviable choice of distinguishing between myth and reality, where every failure would mean a step closer to death for someone.

Rohan Kailasam, the author, has set quite high expectations for himself with his very first novel. A pilot by profession, he is flying high with this gripping and hair-raising story. His understanding of the city, where he has spent most of his life as a child, shows through his writing.

Wastra, with its remarkable plot and narrative, deserves to reach the masses. And it won’t be much of a surprise if it hits the theatres or OTT platforms soon.

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