Slumdog Millionaire author launches new book in London

Slumdog Millionaire author launches new book in London

Slumdog Millionaire author launches new book in London

Diplomat-author Vikas Swarup, whose debut novel was adapted into the Oscar-winning movie 'Slumdog Millionaire', is back with a new book about values deeply rooted in India.

'The Accidental Apprentice' revolves around Sapna, a confident Delhi girl who is put through seven tests to win the "biggest lottery ticket of all time".

"What I write about is very different from my day job and hopefully my books help readers to get to know my country, India, a little better," Swarup, who currently serves as the Consul General of India in Osaka-Kobe in Japan, said during a launch event at the Nehru Centre here yesterday.

"Through the character of Sapna, I have tried to depict the modern Indian woman, who is expressive, aware of her rights and is not afraid to raise her voice against injustice."

"I began writing this book way before women's issues were brought to the fore with the Delhi gang rape case last December... I see it as a positive sign of sensitisation around the issue as the rage has now spilt out on to the streets," he added.

Even though his day job in the Indian Foreign Service has taken his across the world, the 49-year-old author still describes himself as an "Indian India writer."

"The distance perhaps lends a certain perspective. As a writer, I find the contradictions of India fascinating. Where else will you find a country that while still addressing primary issues like health, shelter and literacy is simultaneously able to compete at a global level in technology, business and culture," he said.

Reflecting back on the success of his 2005 debut novel 'Q & A,' which was adapted for the big screen as 'Slumdog Millionaire,' Swarup made light-hearted references to the differences between his book and the movie adaptation.

"Giving away the film rights to a book is like giving a daughter away in marriage. There will inevitably be a new name and you will be saddled with a son-in-law; and in India one never speaks ill of a son-in-law in public," he said.

"While my book was about luck, the film was about destiny but it works as a film, which went on to be referred to as the first globalised masterpiece from India," added this "strictly weekend writer" who balances his diplomatic duties and passion for writing with ease.

The Danny Boyle directed film eventually went on to win eight Oscars at the 2009 Academy Awards.