If you haven't yet heard about the book 'Knocked Up' then I am assuming you are pretty friendless or are surrounded by dumb friends :p
'Knocked Up' is the new best-seller on the block by debutant author Shaiju Mathew. In fact he has got a pretty decent fan following in countries other than India too. From what I hear, they release around 500 copies of the book in Dubai and they were quickly lapped up by the readers over there. A movie based on the book is in the works too!
Interview with Shaiju Mathew :
1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself - your childhood, where you grew up, what you do now, etc.
I liked to be called a story teller and I like to weave stories that can put a smile on someone’s face. I use my creativity to do so, either by my stories or by my songs.
I was born in Kerala but was brought up in Pune. I did my studies in St. Joseph’s Boys High School, Khadki and I was a big prankster since childhood. I have done my MBA in HR and I am also a very good singer.
The most memorable part of my life are my childhood days when I led a very carefree life and had a very good set of friends with whom I am still in touch with although due to our work we are living in different corners of the world. We shared everything under the sun and most of the incidents depicted in my book are inspired from our childhood days. I alongwith my friends were called ‘Terrors’ in our locality because of our pranks that we played on others. These were harmless pranks which made people laugh than offending anyone.
Right now I am working on few movie scripts and yes there are also plans to start my own movie production company alongwith my childhood friend Praveen. That was one of our secret dreams which is no more a secret now ;)
2. What was the inspiration behind the book Knocked Up?
Knocked Up is based on my childhood days spent with my family and friends. It’s a collection of memorable situations that touched our lives (my friends and mine).
3. A story of three best friends - we have already read about that in books like Five Point Someone, Keep off the grass and their clones. What makes your book so different?
There have been many stories in the recent past that have come out in the market about three friends and their escapades. However, Knocked Up is not an IIM or IIT related book where an IITian has penned his personal experiences that a common man might not always relate to.
Knocked Up is a simple story of six teenagers told in a humorous way emphasizing on friendship and love. The situations are believable and the fact that it’s appealing to every age group is a huge victory in itself. The simplicity of the story is Knocked Up’s strong point.
4. The masses in general seem to like your book - although the same cannot be said for the more literary inclined. What do you think is the reason?
I don’t agree to that because if that was the case then Ruskin Bond and R K Narayan books wouldn’t have been equally popular with both the masses and the classes. However, change is inevitable and we can see that in everything around us including the writing style of books. Every reader wants a good story to read and if they get that then they look forward to more books from the same author.
I do agree that I have used ‘Hinglish’ in the dialogues that might not appeal to people who patronize books written in pure English, however that’s how today’s youngsters speak among themselves. The language and the book need to relate to our today’s generation otherwise it will be difficult to connect with them. For example if you release a book in Shakespearean English none of today’s youngsters or general reading public will understand it and the purpose of writing the book is lost. The general book reading crowd in India has increased like hell compared to previous decades and most of the young readers patronize Indian writers who are writing in a language they can easily understand and relate to.
5. What can we expect in the sequels of Knocked Up? Can you give us an approximate date for their release?
Next sequels will be equally or more hilarious than the original. I am planning to get the second book in the series by next year September.
6. What is the progress on the movie?
The movie is being planned with a big production house and will be announced in coming months.
7. Would you like to tell anything else to our readers?
I would advise everyone to have protected sex or you might get someone ‘Knocked Up’ ... on a serious note I would ask all my readers to dream as dreams do come true if you work towards it.