SAMIT BASU’STurbulence is that customer-friendly thing—a racy read. Several hundred passengers on a flight from London to Delhi are suddenly endowed with superpowers—they miraculously become what they’ve always wanted to be. Basu leaves out the backstory—not just the previous lives of these once-ordinary people, but also their transformation into airborne gods. He cuts straight to the action.
When the novel opens, some weeks after that magic flight, superhero and gravity-defying Vir Singh is soaring above a Pakistani nuclear research centre, seconds away from striking it. Just then, he gets an anonymous call from a man who tries to restrain him.
“You want to…make the world a safer place for one and all? Well, going down there and re-enacting King Kong isn’t going to achieve that…it’s not possible. Not in this world, not even with your powers,” says the mysterious caller. A little later he asks Vir, “Who’s the greatest Indian leader ever?” Gandhi, says Vir. “Ask yourself this. If Gandhi had your powers, would he be flying around above a Pakistani nuclear site, wiping his foggy glasses and trying to start World War III, or would he be doing something slightly more productive?”