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Sacred Games, Vikram Chandra

Almost 10 years ago, I saw a huge book lying on the top shelf of Delhi Public Library.

That image is still fresh in my mind. Daunted by its sheer size, I skipped reading Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra and instead chose his medium sized short story collection Love and Longing in Bombay.

To tell you the truth, the name Vikram had confused me and I actually borrowed the book under the impression that it was written by none other than Vikram Seth, of A Suitable Boy fame.

The short story collection didn’t impress me much, though there were a few memorable characters. One of the most impressive character was of an inspector named Sartaj Singh, who appeared to come straight out of the silver screen. He wasn’t your regular policeman, but more of a private investigator in uniform, following clues and solving cases in Sherlock Holmes fashion. I also faintly remember his having a troubled but amorous relationship, adding further masala to that particular story.

After reading the story featuring Sartaj Singh, I did feel that here is a perfect character to be converted into our Bollywood hero and Vikram Chandra should explore him more.

Sure enough, at the end of Love and Longing in Bombay, I found that the novelist has already heeded to my advice and has written a full blown novel with Sartaj Singh as the central character. Yes, that thick volume called Sacred Games, lying on that top shelf!

Now, years later I suddenly rediscover that name, as Netflix India has converted the 900 page dome into eight hour-long episodes, starring none other than Saif Ali Khan, Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Radhika Apte!


Sacred Games is to be realeased on 6 July 2018 and Vikram Chandra’s voluminous literary outing has finally landed on the screen, where it rightfully belongs.

You can check out the trailer, it does look interesting.

The series is directed by Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane of Phantom Films. And hopefully they will be able to deliver a smart impressive filmy version of Sartaj Singh, getting the best out of Saif, who by the way looks way better in turban than his usual chocolatey avatar!

I am excited to watch Sacred Games as yet another Vikram is in the offing now, the director this time. And while writing this article and researching online, I realized that some people are confusing Vikram A. Chandra of NDTV fame, with the novelist Vikram Chandra!

Tch tch, namesakes do make life difficult, I guess. By the way, here is the real Vikram Chandra. Have a close look at him and do not confuse the guy with Seth/Motwane or A. Chandra…

Enjoy the screenplay, the book is too big to read anyway…

Anupama Sarkar




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