Tag Archives: Vakola

Last Man in Tower

Aravind Adiga’s “Last Man in Tower” is a story about desperate people – desperate lower middle class people wanting to go up in society, wanting the riches, dreaming of a rich future and to achieve that they will throw all the scruples to the wind. Its a story of a old middle class metropolitan housing society in a suburb of Mumbai. The building is old, needs urgent repairs, the residents are all middle class with aspirations for more. In comes a corrupt, wealthy, ruthless builder who offers more than the market price for each flat in the society. Everybody agrees but for a couple of residents – old couple Pintos whose children are abroad and a widower Masterji a retired teacher whose only son is residing in a posh swanky flat in South Mumbai. He is a principled man with lots of attachment to the flat because of his late wife and daughter. He digs his heels in and refuses to accept the lucrative offer, the other residents get desperate because of the impending deadline, while the builder is sweating because of the potential loss of his reputation, when other builders are ready to pounce upon the property. The book is too long, but the narrative is quite brilliant. Aravind Adiga has written beautifully, his prose is superb. Towards the later part of the book, it starts getting depressing and the ending is a huge anti climax. Reminded me of the 80s movie “Mohan Joshi Haazir Ho” a sort of similar story about house owners who are unable to vacate their tenants and the matter goes to courts and stays there for decades, while the lawyers start getting rich, the plaintiffs become poorer and poorer by the day.  

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