RBI officer Giridharan pens who-done-it novel Right Under our Nose

According to Giridharan, the bank's designated medical consultant Dr Anjali Goel helped him with a lot of medical details, a crucial element in the story.

For someone who tracks large-value frauds working at the Reserve Bank of India, it seems it was only natural for R Giridharan to come out with a who-done-it novel.

A general manager at RBI, Giridharan says his job had an influence on his debut book Right Under our Nose. “I get to meet a lot of people during office work and interactions keep happening. They become the bread and butter for descriptions. Various mannerisms of different characters can be gleaned from the office interactions,” he says. He adds that the description of events also become more realistic while describing the events as they actually happen.

According to Giridharan, the bank’s designated medical consultant Dr Anjali Goel helped him with a lot of medical details, a crucial element in the story. “I often discussed things with her over the phone. She recommended books on toxicology that I read,” he says. In Right Under Your Nose, a murderer eliminates scientists right under the nose of the police and leaves forensics baffled. In response, the chief minister calls upon Vijay, who is given an impossible deadline to solve the case before Parliament resumes in a week. Politics in bureaucracy also forms an essential part of the plot.

Asked about it, Giridharan says, “Politics is everywhere, at home, at work, in the neighbourhood, in sport. Wherever, there are people, there will be power plays and politics is power play.” But he adds that politics is frustrating and energy sapping.
“It also takes people’s focus away from the real battles to be fought and leaves a trail of bitterness behind.” Giridharan set the story in Nagpur as he wanted to write about a Tier-2 Indian city.

“The choice was between Nagpur and Jaipur, but I chose Nagpur, probably because it was slightly bigger and more cosmopolitan than Jaipur. I brought characters from all over the country, which is more realistic of Nagpur,” he says. And while there are murder and politics, there’s also romance between the two main lead characters in the book, published by Rupa Publications.

The author says the arc is not a necessity but certainly adds zing and zest to the story. “A romantic plot moving alongside the main plot is spicy. It also gives more depth to the characters. After all, a detective is also a human being so the human aspect of the character comes out better with romantic involvement as romance has its own twists, turns and tests,” he says. “In this novel, I made sure that Padmini is equal to Vijay as a detective and has as much space,” he adds.

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