If you steal 1,000 rupees, the hawaldar will beat the shit out of you and lock you up in a dungeon with no bulb or ventilation. If you steal 55,000 crore rupees then you get to stay in a 40-foot cell which has four split units, internet, fax, mobile phones and a staff of ten to clean your shoes and cook your food (in case it is not being delivered from Hyatt that particular day).’ They say that prison can be a great leveller – but does this apply if you are a VIP inmate in an Indian prison? Maybe not. Based on extensive first-hand interviews with some of India’s most well-known inmates, award-winning journalist Sunetra Choudhury gives you a peek into the VIP prison life. What does Peter Mukerjea do all day in his 4 x 4 cell? How does a 70-year-old Doon school alumnus who has spent more than 7 years in jail find a will to continue petitioning the state and fight his cases? Who came to visit Amar Singh during those four fateful days, determining his future friends and allies? For the first time, India’s most famous prisoners share their stories – from terror tales of ‘bladebaaz’ to torture chambers, from air conditioners in cells to food from five-star hotels, from cushy beds to private parties – and how they negotiate life in prison or the so-called ‘jail-ashram’. With unbelievable details of the life inside prison and the sorry state of hundreds of undertrials languishing in jails, this book questions the primary purpose of imprisonment – is it actually reform, punishment or misusing the system we are a part of?