As the euphoria over ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ begins to settle down,author Vikas Swarup,whose novel was drawn upon for the celluloid tale,said he is “not very happy” over the title of the book losing its identity to the celebrated but controversial name of the movie.
“I was not very happy that the title of the book was changed to ‘Slumdog Millionaire’,” Swarup,Deputy High Commissioner to South Africa,told a reporter in an email interview.
He was replying to a query about his novel Q and A,which had won acclaim even before British director Danny Boyle chose it as the theme for his celluloid venture,now being sold in the market under the title Slumdog Millionaire with the movie’s photographs splashed on the covers to draw attention.
Swarup said when he enquired about the change in the book’s title,he was told “this is the norm in a book-film tie,which is targeted mainly at people who have not heard of the book and come to the book only after seeing the film”. However,Swarup said he did not rue the change in the book’s title as long as the storyline,revolving around a gritty slumdweller who is orphaned in his early childhood but goes on to achieve success surmounting all odds,was not altered in the book’s new edition.
“I console myself with the fact that the story is still the same. Even if it reaches the reader through a different title,at least it reaches. And that is what is important,” he said.
As a writer,said Swarup,his first and foremost concern was that more and more people get to read his novel.
The book had won South Africa’s Exclusive Books Boeke Prize in 2006,the Prix Grand Public at the Paris Book Fair in 2007 and was also short-listed for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize in the Best First Book category.