The three guys trying to lift a heavy box on the book’s front cover look comical. In fact, Shaiju Mathew’s recently-published novel Knocked Up is described on the back cover as a “hilarious tale of friendship, love, happiness” shared between three best friends Sid, Ron and Prateik.
But has it become fashionable to have ‘three friends having fun’ in the stories nowadays? Mathew sounds amused when I put it to him. “This is not a typical IIM or IIT grad-written story. I am not following the Three Idiots or Five Point Someone,” the MBA degree holder says. “I am influenced by writers like RK Narayan, Enid Blyton, Ruskin Bond,” he says while recalling how he got initiated into reading fiction.
The language used in the novel is conversational; there are colloquial words and plain narration of twists and turns. “I believe in writing simpler stories with which common people like me can easily connect,” Mathew says in this context. “I think, younger readers, who love reading while travelling, will love this story”.
Besides his Pune connection, Mathew’s profile describes him as a singer, writer, screenplay writer and the rest. “I am a storyteller primarily,” he asserts while describing the difference between writing for movies and writing novels. “I am more comfortable in expressing my ideas and visions of the world through writings, rather than, say, painting,” he says, adding, he began to write stories in his school days. “Writing is my true passion,” he confirms.
The idea for Knocked Up came from his friends, Mathew says. “When we meet, we become nostalgic. My friends inspired me to write a full-fledged novel that is partly based on our experiences”. So, armed with the “ideas, memories and observations”, Mathews unleashed his creative self. “I had the entire story in my mind. But as I wrote, I felt like modifying here and there. So, it evolved over a period of time,” Mathew informs.
Knocked Up is the first of the three parts that Mathew has planned. He is working on the other parts and is also likely to come up with a “mature love story”.