Lawyer and avid blogger Srinath Girish on his debut novel Just Black And White
Srinath Girish is a born storyteller, adept at spinning colourful yarns, as is evident from his many blogs. However, the title of his first book, Just Black And White, at first, suggests the contrary, but also hints at layers of meaning. The book has slices from Srinath’s world, written as observed through the eyes of a lawyer who has “seen the system at work and still believes in it”. Says Srinath: “I just wrote about incidents and people that I have encountered in my life as a lawyer.”
Writing seems to be a passion for Srinath; a passion that remained private until he decided to share it with the world through his blogs on sulekha.com. His blogs soon came to be noticed and Srinath’s band of ‘followers’ grew. Among the followers was Edamana Narayanan, a fellow lawyer and friend. Narayanan had just ventured into publishing with EK Books that brought out ‘Subhashita Sudha’ written by his father, Kesavan Namboothiri, a learned scholar who wrote vastly but never considered publishing any of his writings. While mulling over the possibility of publishing a second book, Narayanan’s thoughts turned to Srinath. “I thoroughly enjoy his blogs,” says Narayanan. “His language and style of writing captivated me.” More as a friend than a publisher, Narayanan encouraged Srinath to make a compilation of his blogs and offered to publish it.
Srinath’s colourful blogs-turned-stories make for delightful reading. Full of insight, sometimes funny, sometimes serious, each story drives home a point – underscoring, perhaps, Srinath’s skill as a lawyer.
The gregarious Srinath is also a good singer and a cricketer. But whether by chance or design, it is his writing that has come to the fore – the joys of which he discovered as a direct fallout of his “mid-life crisis”. Perhaps the best things in life happen by accident, and, quite literally, it was an accident that shaped Srinath into a lawyer. He had been all set to climb the echelons of the corporate world with a brilliant academic career and a degree in business administration behind him, when he literally ‘fell’– under a bus! Confined to his bed, he decided to study law and there was no looking back on his journey to becoming a successful lawyer in Kozhikode and at the High Court of Kerala.
Meanwhile, he also won the Sulekha-Penguin online writing contest in 2008 for his story ‘Brutus Kunhiraman’, later published in the anthology BlogPrint by Penguin India. Articles and ‘middles’ for newspapers and stories for the Chicken Soup series speak of his forays into the print media. As to his reading habits, Srinath reads novels – “and novels only”. This would hint at his penchant for the imaginative and explain why his compulsive habit of writing saw him create over a 100 short stories – all yet unpublished! “A book was never in my scheme of things. It was Narayanan who showed the courage to publish the compilation,” says the writer. According to Narayanan, the transition from the blogs to book seems to have gone down well. As for Srinath, the positive response and comments from his teachers and seniors in the profession have brought him immense joy. This “personal happiness”, he feels, is reward enough for his book.