ぼくと1ルピーの神様

奇跡のつかみ方

「つまり、こういうこと? あなたが答えを知っていたわけを理解するためには、あなたの人生全部を知らなければならない」
「多分」


月給900ルピーでウェイターをしているスラムの少年が、TVのクイズショーで100000ルピーを獲得する。
文学、歴史、地理、様々な難問を、教育を受けたこともない少年が答えていく。ピラミッドがある都市も答えられないのに。
彼はいかさまをしていたのだろうか?

いかさまの疑いをかけられた主人公、ラム・ムハンマド・トーマスは、女性弁護士のスミタによって拷問から救われる。
彼は、「問題の答えを全て知っていた」という。その理由を、彼はスミタに語っていく。

物語は、クイズショーの問題1つ1つに対応して、ラム・ムハンマド・トーマスの経た物語をなぞっていきます。
トーマスの語る痛々しい思い出話が、すべてクイズの答えへと収束していきます。

泥をすすり、血を流し、生きるために生きてきた少年の半生がページをめくる度に明らかになっていきます。
これは小説ですが、ここで描かれている世界はフィクションだ、とは言い切れないようです。物語は彼の人生を触媒に、インドの政治腐敗、貧困、虐待、宗教対立を浮き彫りにしていきます。

彼は、様々な逆境に見舞われますが、それに挫けることはありません。
というより、彼は絶望に慣れているからこそ、前に進めるのかも知れません。

「くそみたいな生活だけど、どうしようもない。やっていくしかない」

そんな諦観が彼には染み付いているように見えます。

しかし同時に、彼はとても頭が切れます。
とっさの機転のきいた判断で、何度も命を守ります。
それは逆に、そのような強かさがなければ死ぬか、乞食のような生活を送る以外なかったことも表しています。
彼は知恵者で、また類いまれな強運に恵まれていました。

彼は絶望になれていると書きましたが、同時にその世界から抜け出そうともがいてもいます。
物語が進むにつれ、その思いは増します。
だから彼は、クイズショーに挑むのです。

彼はラッキーです。
でもそれは、もがき続けたからこそ手に入れられた幸運でした。

人生に答えはありません。
しかし、彼が”あの時”に下した決断は、彼を陰鬱な世界から引き出す大切な”答え”になっています。

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