“Listen, Michael. This is serious. This is your best chance to help me..., us. If you waste this, it’s all over.”
“What’s all over”?
“Everything. Between us.”
“Five minutes, that’s all you have. I kid you not.”
The opening lines of the Novella, Dreams in Prussian Blue by Paritosh Uttam pushes you on to read on and complete the book as fast as you can. It is no surprise that director Shyamaprasad culled out a beautiful script out of it - the Fahad-Ann-starrer Artist. As the film receives a decent response from the audience, Paritosh Uttam too has reasons to rejoice.
“I have finished the book in half a day. The beauty of the story enchanted me. There are a few books which talk about the inner life of an artist. When I contacted Uttam, after reading the book, he was very happy and gave me the green signal to go ahead with the script. After watching Artist people are deeply moved by the story as such,” said Shyamaprasad.
The 36-year old, techie- turned-writer Paritosh Uttam, was born in Thiruvananthapuram to UP parents. “I have a Kerala connection in the sense that I was born in Thiruvananthapuram as my father was in VSSC (Vikram Sarabhai Space Center) then. My novel, Dreams in Prussian Blue, was published in 2010. A few months after its release Shyamaprasad contacted me through my website and said that he had read it and had liked it because the themes it dealt with vibed with his thoughts. He said he would like to make a film based on it. I found out that Shyamaprasad is an acclaimed director and was glad to say yes. We talked over email and phone about how to take this forward. The novel is my work but its adaptation to the screen is fully Shyamaprasad’s,” says Paritosh Uttam.
Paritosh is a graduate from IIT Madras, and has a full-time job as a software professional, based in Pune. An ardent reader since childhood, becoming a writer was his dream.
“I don’t think I can lead a life without either part. So I have been trying to balance these separate fields in my life for quite some time. This association with a movie was a first for me. Definitely, cinema has a wider and faster reach than literature, so I hope my name can reach more people,” says an excited Uttam.
He has also edited some works. Recently he edited Urban Shots, an anthology of 28 urban tales by 13 young writers.
He has also finished writing a novel about small town characters who want to make it big in life. The novel is with the publishers at present.
When asked about what persuaded him to become a writer, Uttam said, “Reading takes you to your own personal, magic world. So I developed an admiration for the person who creates such a world through his imagination. Perhaps in my mind I have glamourised the life and career of a writer. The moment I saw my first novel displayed on the New Arrival shelf of a bookshop the first time, it was very special.”
“Nowadays it has become easier to get published, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have become a good writer. Writing is a craft. It takes hard work and discipline and practice and rejections. Almost all good writers have to go through that difficult process,” he advises aspiring young writers.
Paritosh lives with his wife Smita and son Palash in Pune, Maharashtra.