"Writing is something that came from nowhere,” says Shriram Iyer who recently released his debut novel Wings Of Silence, a book set in the Cold War era. A marketing manager based in Australia, Shriram is already a well-known face in the world of music.
He is a singer who has performed in live shows and been part of many recordings in Melbourne where he is based out of. Shriram tells us that this book might be one of its kind in India, for never before has there been a theme song written for a book. The theme song is called Khamoshi Ke Par.
The song says that the bird now has got wings, now its time to fly and reach for the sky. That is a conversation between the two brothers where one is trying to lift the other one up. There are other songs which speaks about heartbreak and reunion too. He adds, “I sensed an opportunity to promote the book in a noble way. And hence the sound track for the book came about. There is a music video too coming up for the same. At the end of the day, I want readers and listeners to emotionally connect with the story.”
He tells us that he grabbed the opportunity when he got the chance to combine his two passions-singing and writing. The idea of the soundtrack idea was developed much later. “I wanted to break a lot of rules with the soundtrack. People normally expect the music first after the mukda and then the antara. They are normally programmed and I wanted to surprise them,” he says. When did his tryst with writing begin? He says, “The book was born really out of the ‘what if’ question. What if a family with two brothers, where the younger one is usually spoilt, were given a major responsibility at a very young age where they have to choose between ambition and conscience. That was the battle. What would they choose?
It was really born out of a evening walk with my wife, we sort of discussed the concept. And she said, 'Look, you know what. You should write it.' My parents said 'Go ahead! I have written a lot of short stories and poems in the past, but never a novel.”
About the book, he says, “The story is about a young deaf boy who wants to run in the 1980 Olympic marathon in Moscow and the story is narrated by the protagonist's younger brother. Its really about their relationship, struggle and journey, their highs and lows. It’s basically an adventure described in a very interesting time period. Its completely fictional at the backdrop of some real events."
Why the 1980 Olympics? He replies, “The particular game had its share of turmoil due to the Cold War.”
Though not intentional, he says that his book has a strange Olympic connection. “I started writing the book during the Beijing Olympics, the book talks about the Moscow Olympics and I am launching the book now towards the end of the London Olympics.”
Shriram met a lot of hearing impaired children, as part of his research for the book. He also met a lot of hearing impaired adults as they were kids in the 1970s and the challenges faced by the disabled then was much tougher than the ones today. “I spoke to a marathoner in Australia called Robert De Castella who is a very famous runner and he finished 10th in the 1980 Moscow Olympics. He took part in the race which I have talked about in the book. It was very interesting as he told me about the race, the weather and that is how I got a first-hand experience. I took a little of that and added a bit of my own,” he says.
Shriram continues to write and hopes that some day, he can give up his day job as a manager to pursue his love for writing and singing.
“My next book is going to be a murder mystery and then a mythological thriller,” he signs off.