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Witness The Most Riveting Courtroom Drama of The Year

Posted October 11th, 2023, 10:58 AM IST

Witness The Most Riveting Courtroom Drama of The Year

When a high-profile murder suspect arrives at his door, debonair lawyer Jay Singh finds himself engaged in a case that has the potential to destroy him totally. If he loses, he will have to say farewell to his career. If he wins, he should prepare his obituary. As his past begins to catch up with him, Jay must decide whether to maintain his impeccable reputation or the heinous truth.

"Karma is one of the central principles of Hinduism. Samsara (aka sansar) — the cycle of birth, death, and rebirth — is influenced by one’s karma. And as the story of Déja Karma unfolds, we see that the protagonist, Jay Singh, makes right/wrong choices and faces the consequences that his karma serves him," says Vish Dhamija, with 11 crime novels to his credit.

Like all authors, Dhamija starts with an idea, then works on the character’s personality (the dos and don’ts), and their part/role in the story, before deciding on any physical characteristics (appearance, etc). "And you’re correct, I had originally planned Bhima to be a shadow of Jay, but as the story developed, I realised that the character of Bhima demanded a larger role; he had to be as central to the story as Jay — he had to be Yang if Jay was Yin or else, they would be two incomplete halves. I am glad the readers haven’t seen Bhima as a supporting cast but found him as essential to the story as Jay," says the bestselling author. He has penned 11 works of crime fiction, including Unlawful Justice, Bhendi Bazaar, The Mogul, The Heist Artist, Doosra, Prisoner’s Dilemma, and Cold Justice.

One must understand the law of the land to begin with. "Although I am a law dropout, I am a legal enthusiast (if there is any such thing), so I read and watch a lot of legal fiction and non-fiction to keep up with the framework, the practices, the legalese. Moreover, I am fortunate that I have a lot of friends who completed their law degrees (after I discontinued) so I can call upon those lawyer friends in my rolodex for help anytime," says Dhamija.



Courtroom Drama

Courtrooms are boring and scary for people who are either victims or defendants. "The fact that there is room for the audience in a courtroom suggests otherwise to me — that there are enough people interested in legal proceedings as long as they aren’t the one in the dock," he says. The courtroom dramas have been entertaining the audience (books, stage, screen) since the early 20th century. "Of course, they were largely dominated by American authors, but not any longer. For a courtroom drama to be exciting and entertaining, the author must combine the legal proceedings with a gripping narrative, and relatable characters, and ensure that the courtroom scenes are engaging. And like all other thrillers, keep building the tension and suspense," adds the London-based author.

Book-to-Screen

"When I wrote my first book (Nothing Lasts Forever) in 2010 we had not woken up to the world of OTT platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime. But I promise you that I had still gone that extra mile in the narrative to immerse the reader into the scene, the characters, the tension, and the story.

Personally, I think, as an author, I should stay true to the story I tell, and not focus on what medium it will be adapted to or what I would get from it in return. Like they say: phal aur akansha se rahit, tu karma kiye ja. I am currently writing a story of a conman, which should be out sometime next year," he says.

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