S. V. Divvaakar talks about his debut novel ‘The Winner's Price' and how it is different from other campus novels
Fifty one-year-old Divvaakar's debut novel on the current political scenario and with IIT lending a strong background to the plot — he claims that it is nothing close to Chetan Bhagat's Five Point Someone or any other ‘IIT-novel'. He says that his book, The Winner's Price, is more like an analogy of Chitragupta. “For justice to be served, truth must bear its own witness. All our deeds are being faithfully recorded and we must meet our karma…” says Divvaakar. He also adds that the story is about life beyond the IIT campus.
Spanning a time-frame of 25 years and three countries, the book uses fiction to highlight contemporary issues. “It is a work of fiction, dealing with the life of six friends from IIT meeting each other after 25 years at a college reunion, how their lives change from there on would sum to be a broad idea of the plot. The friends are now in diverse fields — a business magnate, an innovator, a trader, a venture capitalist, a social reformer, a bureaucrat, and a public relations agent,” adds Divvaakar.
Three hundred-pages-long, S. V. Divvaakar assures that the novel deals with contemporary issues like the Lokpal bill, scrapping of the JEE and the Karnataka mining scam. That's not all; he adds that there is an element of mystery in the plot as well.
Divvaakar says that his experience at IIT helped him pen this book. “Since I come from the system called IIT, it made it easier for me to keep it real. IIT today is more of a brand, product or a cult and these premises of its existence need to be questioned,” he says.
He says that the book takes a minor digression where it talks about real problems under the garb of fiction.
“I have tried bringing up real debates through characters. A lot of students who crack the IIT exam feel like they have achieved all that there is to achieve. Life after the IIT entrance exam is taken very lightly. The brand has overshadowed the significance of the institution,” he feels.
The Winner's Price also throws light upon the infrastructure and social inclusion issues.
“A lot of students who get into the college through merit but come under the reservation quota face the ire of fellow students. I have tried to bring up that issue in the book as well,” he adds. As a parting shot, he says, “I am a nobody in the book world, but I have a story worth telling.”