Excerpt from Underworld Startup

Sameer’s Challenge

Below is an excerpt from my upcoming novel, which is a humourous take on the startup world.

“Dad, I am tired of the secretive nature of our business. I cannot talk about it to anybody or even write a blog post. Hell, I cannot even brag about our latest heist or kidnapping anywhere. You have forbidden me from joining Facebook or Twitter, because you say that the cops might track us down that way. This is the age of sharing and social proof, Dad! We need to change,” Sameer remarked over breakfast.

MK, the dreaded Don, started at his 19-year-old son with anger, frustration and disgust combined. After a long pause, he simply replied, “Ok, but what are you going to do?”

“I don’t know yet, Dad, but I want to change the way we have been doing business over the years. There is very little innovation, we always are on the run from the law. It is getting difficult to find new markets and hire reliable people. Maybe we can change that,” Sameer replied in excitement.

“A startup? Have you been reading the silly newspaper stories again? We are ganglords. No we are the Underworld. You are lucky to be born in this family. What do you mean you don’t want to do this work? This is our family business.” MK roared. After a few minutes of silence at the breakfast table, MK thought of breaking the monotony of silverware making noise whenever it hit the china ware. “Ok tell me Sameer,” MK asked his son, “ You do not even know what you want to do. Okay, tell me this. Have you thought of a name?” MK might have calmed down but the anger in his voice was still evident.

“I will call it the Underworld Startup. Give me a couple of months and I will come back with a solid plan,” Sameer nearly screamed as he rose from his chair and left the room.

MK shook his head in disgust. “This startup fever is going to ruin him, and all of us in the process,” he sighed

“Leave the boy alone, he is a bright kid, full of ideas. Let us see what he comes up with. Do you know he is doing all this for Farah?” Dadi, MK’s 80 year old mother, reprimanded her gangster son. Somehow, MK felt that his mother was behind all this.

“The boy is going off track, and you are responsible for it, Ma,” MK responded. “The boy wants to leave the world of crime to impress the girl he likes. A girl who wants the son of a gangster to leave the business we have been in for generations. How original.”

“At least give him a chance,” Dadi said firmly.

“As you wish, Ma. Two months. The boy has two months to get his act together,” MK replied. The breakfast was over, and so was the conversation.

And thus began Sameer’s quest to launch his startup that most people thought was bound to fail from the get go.

Underworld, Startup is Amar’s second fiction novel after NRI:Now, Returned to India.

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