Friday, April 03, 2009

The 65 Lakh Heist By Surender Mohan Pathak

Painsath Lakh Ki Dakaiti - reborn as The Rs 65-lakh Heist - first came out in 1978. Since then, it has sold a phenomenal 3 lakh copies and had 15 reprints.

Mayaram Bawa, aka Ustad, is the master schemer, who brings together a team of five, to rob a bank. The heist, an amazingly ingenious operation, involving ladders flung across buildings and a night long safe cracking operation.

But that is only the warm up - it is post the loot that the book gets really exciting as Mayaram double crosses the others, and Vimal launches into a hunt to get him. Moving rapidly from Amritsar to Chandigarh to Delhi to Karnal.

Translator Purohit has done a great job — he’s kept the local colour and flavour intact. A racy read.

Often looking at the lurid titles of desi pulp displayed at Wheelers outlet on railway stations, I had often wondered whats inside the book. But shady covers and substandard print kept me away. Thanks to English translation and better production quality i can read without feeling embarrassed.


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