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Ram Mohammad Thomas is a contestant on the hit Indian TV show “Who Will Win A Billion” . . . As he ponders over the first question, his thoughts drift back to his childhood in Delhi.
Now sixteen, Thomas lives in a decrepit slum in Mumbai with his best friend Salim. When Shantaram, an alcoholic ex-government scientist, moves in next door with his wife and daughter, Thomas has to protect them–with tragic consequences.
Thomas has to delve back into his childhood in search of the answer to the next question . . . Adopted by evil gangster Babu, Thomas and Salim are taken to Mumbai where they are to be maimed and put on the streets to beg.
The next question on “Who Will Win A Billion” takes Thomas to his teenage years, when, working as the houseboy of Australian defence attaché Colonel Taylor, he becomes embroiled in espionage.
The next question on “Who Will Win A Billion” is from the world of cricket . . . Fortunately, a chance encounter with Salim–who tells of how he got his revenge on the notorious beggar master Babu–provides Thomas with the answer.
With two years of his salary strapped to his belt, Thomas boards a train back to Mumbai, only to be woken up in the middle of the night by bandits. It’s a life experience that helps him answer a vital question on “Who Will Win a Billion”.
As street kid Thomas gets closer to the billion-rupee prize on “Who Will Win a Billion”, but he must answer a difficult question about famous Bollywood Tragedy Queen, Neelima Kumari. Fortunately for him, he was once her house-boy.
Only two questions away from the billion-rupee prize, Thomas draws on his experience as an unofficial guide at the Taj Mahal. His friendship with another homeless kid leads to a cruel twist of fate and a horrific discovery . . .
Thomas is finally stumped by a question he doesn’t know the answer to. His thoughts lead him back to his first love Nita, a young prostitute he met in Agra. When she is physically abused by one of her clients, Thomas knows what he has to do . . .
Thomas is one question away from winning the billion-rupee prize on “Who Will Win a Billion”–but the producers can’t afford the payout and will do anything to stop him. But Thomas has an ulterior motive for being on the show… And he will not leave without getting his revenge on the show’s host, Prem Kumar.