Death of a Moneylender

Death of a Moneylender

Product ID: 26384

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Author: Kota Neelima
Publisher: Roli Books
Year: 2009
Language: English
Pages: 223
ISBN/UPC (if available): 9788186939505


Falak, a young journalist from Delhi, is assigned to a remote village in south-central India where a moneylender is found dead, hung from a lamppost in front of his house by an entire village united against injustice. Falak coldly hunts the story for a page-one byline. He does not allow a corrective conscience, an attitude that had in the past cost him his relationship with Vani, a journalist from rival newspaper. Within hours of reaching the village, his story is ready – a villainous moneylender killed by long-suffering villagers. But Falak has also unearthed a disconcerting fact: the moneylender was a kind-hearted, generous man whose death was being used to intimidate other moneylenders.

Outstanding loans are written off to buy peace with villagers, but the politically well-connected and dangerous moneylenders plan a brutal retribution. Shambu, a farmer, seems to have masterminded the death with Bhanu, the moneylender’s son. Falak hates the villagers for committing the crime but also sympathizes with them. He hates the half-truth he reports, but covets the byline it gets him. Truth rescues him from this twilight of dilemma. It devastates him, transforms him. And ironically, also makes him lie.


‘It is not easy to write good fiction journalism, some of which is fiction anyway. The genius of Kota Neelima’s book on a modern Kabuliwallah lies in the dexterity with which she weaves perceived notions through multiple hypocrisies. At its best, writing is the bridge between India and freedom, between a moneylender and his truth. Death of a Moneylender brings this link to life.’

‘A well-crafted murder mystery that is simultaneously a searing inquiry into the plight of Indian farmers and a moving narrative of a cynical journalist’s self-discovery-a compelling read and a remarkable achievement.’