Harikumar with his debut book, When Strangers Meet. | EPS
‘Everyone in the coupe was fast asleep. Some men were dreaming lustily about the amusing middle-aged woman in the next coupe while others were simply asleep. All lights were switched off inside the compartment, the only source of illumination was the passing track lights outside.’
Three years ago while travelling in a train, little did Harikumar know that such a situation would offer him food for thought to pen down the above mentioned opening lines in his debut book, When Strangers Meet.
In 2010, Harikumar met a stranger while travelling on the Delhi Metro. To his surprise, the man began to talk at length about his past and dreams. Keenly observing him, Harikumar felt he looked happy, but morbid inside. “This incident struck a chord within me,” he says. “And, eventually, the book was born and hence the tag line - ‘Sometimes all it takes is a stranger’s tale to bring your life back on track’.”
Initially, he wrote it in the form of a screenplay, My name is Iyer. But when he fell ill and took a break from his college, the screenplay became a novel of 216 pages.
The story revolves around three men, Iyer, Pathan and Jai and their tryst with each other’s destiny. It also talks about the father-son relationship from the viewpoint of three strangers.
Harikumar says he has come up with a cinematic trailer for his book. “Perhaps, mine would be the first of its kind in India,” he says. “Unlike countries like the United States, people here do not invest much for trailers which can actually help garner more readers.”
In India, it was Amish Tripathi, the author of The immortals of Meluha who introduced trailers. But mostly they are of computer graphics. “Hence, I decided to do a trailer with people on live locations,” says Harikumar. “I shot the trailer in Kochi and Delhi.”
Harikumar also says that he has played the role of ‘Pathan’ in the trailer. It was his passion for suspense, horror and Gothic fiction which led him to write a suspense thriller.
Apart from writing, K Harikumar is an ardent photographer. He has been a finalist in the Prestigious Nobel Memorial Photo competition held by the Foreign Ministry of Sweden in 2010 and 2012.
Harikumar says that though the book has garnered good reviews in Delhi, Gurgaon, Bengaluru and Kolkata, it is picking up slowly in Kerala. “I am aware of the reading sensibility of Keralites,” he says. “They always go for substantial stuff. I do not have anything serious to offer, but I can ensure you that my ‘stranger’ will not let you down in terms of suspense and entertainment.”