Hope We Never Meet Again
By Resmi Jaimon
Srinath Krishnamoorthy did Btech / Mtech before embarking on a successful career as a Software Engineer. But his first job was as a Marketing Executive for NIIT which he credits for ‘helping me understand the pains and pleasures of lives of others’. Srinath has written a psycho analytical thriller ‘Hope We Never Meet Again' which he says was inspired by a number at a Station.
Techgoss (TG): Tell us about your debut book, ‘Hope We Never Meet Again.’
Srinath Krishnamoorthy (SK): 'Hope We Never Meet Again' or ‘HWNMA’ as it is called these days is a racy thriller. It broadly addresses murders that go unpunished, at least under the law. HWNMA is a roller coaster ride of consequences catching up with the deeds and doers and them facing their fates. The book, unlike conventional novels, does not follow a single plot line. That is what makes HWNMA unique. It is a novel that tells the story from the perspective of an 11 year old boy to a 75 year old man. And a setting that ranges from the poetic village of Mannur and Pollachi to the buzzing city of Bangalore. If you read this novel, you will get this idea that HWNMA is an attempt to redefine the existing definition of a novel.
TG: What were the sources of inspiration to attempt a psycho-analytic thriller?
SK: Inspiration. Well, a particular point of inspiration is hard to be defined. A writer has to be always inspired...from a non-descript dot on the wall to monuments that have stood the test of time. But if you ask me, a number scribbled on a railway toilet inspired me. A train journey between Palakkad to Aluva. I thought how one act of a pervert mind can destroy many lives? Our Indian society looks all goody-goody from outside, but deep within, there is dark turbulence...dangerously black. Just take the way we treat women. People scribble mobile numbers of women in public places with obscene messages to go with it. They are not only spoiling public property, but they are ruining lives of women who are not only an individuals but mothers, sisters and wives. Indian society has stooped so dangerously low that someone can ruin the life of a girl with just a whatsapp /E-Mail message.
One Facebook post can kill a family. Even in many parts of our country that boasts of a highly educated society, a rape victim is marginalized, her family is singled out and even blamed. The law and the society, instead of punishing the animals (I cannot call them men), somehow end up blaming the victim herself for the rape. Also, our society suppresses the sexual freedom of women. This book has a bold narrative from the female stand point. The evolving notion of female freedom and sexuality in the Indian society is explored throughout this novel. This could be summed up as an inspiration.
TG: When did you first start writing? Who are your favorite authors?
SK: I started writing at the age of ten...nothing serious, just scribbling in the school diary. But I started reading from a quite a young age. My father was a soldier. During vacation, we used to travel the length and breadth of our country. Books became my friends and I started finding stories in people. I started blogging just a few months back and in a short span of time, my blog enjoys 8800+ views from across 90 countries. It is hugely popular amongst youngsters and contemporary readers.
Well, I still believe people are not mere characters, they are the stories. It started with comics. Slowly moved on to Enid Blyton. Then came the Mark Twain and HG Wells followed. Latter on Kafka, Ayn Rand and John Kennedy Toole set fire to my imagination. I love Richard Flannagan, Neel Mukherjee, Margaret Attwood. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck has influenced me a lot. You can see that in the plotting. In Malayalam, TD Ramakrishnan and Subash Chandran are my favourite. But the writer who has influenced me a lot is Ken Follette. I think his thrillers and historical fictions are a class apart. The mammoth yet meticulous plotting intervened spotlessly with history is nothing but a treat. I suggest young writers to read the Century Trilogy by Ken. Also, he has written masterpieces like Pillars of The Earth and World Without End.
TG: Share with us your educational and professional background.
SK: I'm basically a software engineer by profession but a story engineer by passion. I did schooling from Kendriya Vidyalaya No:1 Palakkad (Kerala). I give all credits to my awesome school library and my English teacher (Jayasree Ma'm) for enforcing my love for literature.
Then, BTech in Information Technology from Government Engineering College, Sreekrishnapuram. I, along with my friend Syam had a brief stint with NIIT as Marketing Executives. It was a game changer for me. Leaving the comfort and cozyness of my home and travelling through the land where history sleeps (palakkad), basking and even burning under the "Palakkadan Sunshine"...trying to sell software courses. We have literally stood outside colleges distributing pamphlets and notices, met people from the highest to the lowest stratum of our society, made friends and did things that normal engineering graduates would hesitate to do. But those days helped me understand the pains and pleasures of lives of others.
After that, I worked with Tech Mahindra as a software engineer. For three years I was involved in a project that involved BT (British Telecom). After three years, I decided I needed a break. I understood that being a Software Engineer is not my destiny. Luckily, in 2013, I cracked GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering) and so I quit.
I enrolled for MTech in Computer Science and Engineering at the prestigious MA College of Engineering, Kothamangalam. Numerous drives, train journeys, the beautiful campus of MA college and the seductress of a place called Kothamangalam made me take the pen and write a novel...which many claim today as "unlike anything else".
TG: What as your nature of work in the organization you worked. How did your IT experience help you write the story?
SK: Ohh... I used to do testing. End-to-End Testing of telecommunication applications to be more specific. I learned a lot...interfaced with really senior engineers from British Telecom and made some amazing friends. For example, Nandan and his wife Anusha, who were like pillars during my thick and thin.
I have heavily borrowed from my life as a software engineer in Bangalore for the core theme. But this book is not just another story told with a Corporate-Metro Life in its backdrop. It traverses a variety of locales (both urban and rural...you cannot pin-point a setting as well in this novel) ....and I have made the characters move back and forth across timelines while narrating stories from their perspective.
TG: How has blogging helped you with regards to writing the novel and connecting with the readers?
SK: Blogging has helped me a lot in enhancing my writing skill. People give you instant feedback about your writing. You don’t have to wait a whole month to get a review. In a matter of minutes, people will post their feedback. It helped me a lot while re-writing the novel (which I did 7 times before getting the final draft ready). Moreover, blogging gives you a kind of liberation...you can create your own small universe of words and readers. I feel so happy touching lives of so many people who are thousands of miles away from me. It is like touching the other side of Earth sitting in your bedroom. The best thing is that, people are picking up my novel, having already tasted a wine glass full of my words. The wineglass is my blog.
People just blindly buying your book and People buying your book after loving your words are two different dimensions. The second gives you more satisfaction. It is in a way more meaningful.
"To write is to live a million lives within.." and blogging is gratification in those lines.
TG: Share tips for aspiring bloggers, who also dream to write a book.
SK: Read. Read. Read. People come up with blogs, books, poetry. If you ask them whom or what they have read, they would bluntly reply that they have read nothing other than their own writings. It does not work that way. In a way it is a negative trend. The great Stephen King once said that he reads 70 books a year and that is to go along with the mammoth amount of pages he writes. Great writers are great readers as well. The craft of writing is not just a play of words, it is like having a thousand authors and books at your fingertips.
TG: What are you working on next?
SK: Nothing as of now. I'm busy promoting my book. We are planning for campaigns across the country since the book has become immensely popular. I want to connect with readers and listen to them. The future of Indian English writing is bright. I want to inspire people to write.
My next work will be based on my block buster novella "Boy Who Dreamed of Booker"; which till date has been read by around 2500+ people across 6 countries.
Techgoss Note: Resmi Jaimon is a Kerala based freelance writer, who is now keen on exploring visual media through talk shows, food and travel shows. More about her at her website