A fast paced cricket rivalry
By Tej N Dhar
Doosra: A Tale of Cricket, Crime and Controversy, Rajiv Rajendra, Rupa & Co, Pp 170 (PB), Rs 150.00
The subtitle of Rajiv Rajendra’s debut novel sums up its theme: the popularity and cricketing prowess of Tarun Krishnan causes heartburn to his teammate, Bhavesh Patel, the son of a top cricket administrator; so he plots his downfall by involving him in match fixing and murder, but fails.
Rajendra introduces the novel’s key characters in its opening chapters : Sunny Khare, the son of the local DG police, an ardent devotee of Tarun; Michelle Gonzalvez, a TV reporter, who files a complaint against Tarun that he assaulted her; Patel, the head of the Cricket Board, and Natasha Taneja, an influential socialite, who inform Pulkit, the head of a TV channel that thrives on scandal, that the Interpol is busy investigating the charges of match-fixing, and Aditi Rao, who knew and loved Tarun before he married Prarena.
When Tarun is busy playing against the West Indies, the TV channel splashes news about his assault on Michelle and his involvement in match fixing, which unleashes public anger against him. He is arrested and jailed, beaten by other prisoners, and saved there by Godse. Sunny teams up with Aditi to gather evidence to save Tarun, which proves difficult because his secretary and Michelle are murdered. Sunny uses his police connection and computer skills to get all the evidence needed to prove Bhavesh’s culpability, who has been maintaining a friendly exterior, and helping Tarun to play in the final match, which has already been fixed by him.
Doosra is a fast-paced readable narrative.
(Rupa & Co, 7/16, Ansari Road Daryaganj, New Delhi-110 002)