Message in a novel

Spot on characterisations Reeti Gadekar Photo: Murali Kumar K.

Spot on characterisations Reeti Gadekar Photo: Murali Kumar K.  

Book Reeti Gadekar puts crime in Delhi under the microscope again in her second Nikhil Juneja novel

T he Indian writing in English market was bawling for someone to take notice of the gaping hole in the section of crime fiction. In 2008, Reeti Gadekar gave the masses what they wanted with DCP Nikhil Juneja and her first novel, “Families At Home”. Gadekar, who now lives in Berlin with her husband, flew into the country for the launch of her latest offering, “Bottom Of The Heap”, a book that picks up from where DCP Nikhil Juneja was left off.

Born and brought up in Delhi, Reeti studied German in JNU before she walked out 10 years after with an M.Phil in hand and found her way to Berlin. She has lived in Germany for over a decade now, yet she chooses Delhi as the backdrop for her stage. “I am Indian, and Delhi is instinctive with crime, maybe in another 20 years I will be unable to write about the city like I can now,” she says. Gadekar has worked as a translator, librarian and a teacher before she was finally decided to be a writer. “I always loved reading, and I would say I want to write a book, but there is a difference between saying you want to write a novel and actually doing it,” says Gadekar who finally took the leap of her husband's faith in her.

Reeti sent in her unfinished manuscript as an entrant in the Man Asia Literary Prize for Unpublished Authors, when her book got long-listed she had no choice but to complete it. “I am working on a series progression in Juneja's life,” Reeti says about her completely fictitious character that bears no resemblance to any person living or dead.

While her first book was small crime, this time she has addressed crime on a larger scale. She never plots in advance, she just knows she has something to say and lets her imagination do the plotting as she goes through with the book.

“You need to have a message in your head that you need to feel very strongly about, and I feel very strongly about crime and justice,” says Reeti about why she chose to write about crime.

Her knowledge of the law is continuously supplemented by trivia she picks up off the internet, “Both medicine and law are very bewildering subjects, you need someone who can explain the nuances to you.”

Reeti compares the system of law and order in both countries and concludes that in Germany the law is more accessible, where as in our country justice in practical terms takes years. “Whether it is the Commonwealth Games Scam or the Fodder Scam, everybody knows who has done it, but the culprit is never caught,” says Reeti.

Her language has biting wit and is funny in a morbid way. Her description of the police in Delhi is spot on, sweaty arm-pits and foul language included. “Delhi and crime fiction is hard hitting, and the only way to make the brutality go away is by laughing at it,” she says. Reeti is currently working on the third book of the series, in which she plans to move Juneja out of Delhi.

Reeti's books are not as much about the procedures post crime as it is about the crime itself, her focus is not on the whodunit but on the what you going to do about it.


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