A Robin Hood-like hacker, a cyber-heist and millions of rupees — with a spine-tingling storyline, writer Kiriti Rambhatla’s first graphic novel Taskara promises to be a riveting read. Kiriti has not only penned Taskara, but has also acted in the movie by the same name. Dwelling in the field of economics, hacking and crypto currencies, the novel is a neo noir cyber heist thriller with elements of geopolitics. “The story is about a superhero vigilante who happens to be a hacker working at the World Bank. But he quits the World Bank because he doesn’t like what they’re doing to poor countries. So he steals from the rich institutions and gives it to the poor countries,” says Kiriti, of his character.
Explaining why he chose the world of economics as a background to his story, he reveals, “I was into political economy, research and economic growth — my work has appeared in the Forbes magazine. Since I was already into economics, building a superhero character around it seemed to be the natural choice. Taskara is the first book in a three-part series. We’re going to launch a video game as well.”
A fan of the noir style, Kiriti, who used to host talk shows in Andhra Pradesh, has also been a speaker at the European Commission and TED. “Through my interactions, I have noticed that the current financial system is flawed. There is a whole bunch of economic theory on why we shouldn’t be dependent on the American dollar because it doesn’t have a strong economic backing to it. My stories come from global economic and political conditions, so they are very grounded in the real world and current affairs,” he says.
For someone born in Andhra Pradesh, Kiriti has had a global upbringing. From Canada to Boston to London, he’s been educated in various places across the globe. How did his tryst with travel influence his writing? “Travel shaped up my thought process. The story moves between different countries and different continents. I was a fanboy of Marvel and DC Comics and their graphics novels, so that had a huge influence on the way I wrote the story.”...