‘Children of War' by Hyderabad-based Anirudh Annam is a first of its kind war fiction thriller in India
Like all teenagers, Anirudh Annam had his share of fantasies. Riding fast bikes and becoming a rockstar were definitely not one of them. His dream was more idealistic with a touch of patriotism. He fantasised about Indians in place of all those characters that grace Robert Ludlum and Tom Clancy books. And when Anirudh decided to write a book, he gave words to his dreams. His book Children of War, published by Frog Books is perhaps the first war fiction in this part of the world.
While there are dime a dozen writers eager to occupy readers' mind space every day, Anirudh's book stands out for its total dedication to the thriller genre. The book revolves round the protagonist Lt. Col. Aryan Ved and his teammates Sylvester, Neha and Sanjana belonging to Black Team One, a specially-trained combative force to counter terrorist activities against India. With a racy narrative and disciplined structure, for a debutant writer, Anirudh's work is gripping.
But it's the honest attempt — to depict Indians in an aggressive role in countering terrorism — that impresses you. A too good to be true role for Indian heroes though, even if it's fiction.
An avid reader since childhood, Anirudh carried a natural flair for writing through his school and college days. And a logical next step was to write a book.
“I started to write in 2007 and when Mumbai bomb blasts happened in 2008, the book took a concrete shape and direction. I wanted to show an aggressive side of Indian side that is capable of taking on such threats and attacks. Since I chose a military-based subject I had to do quite a bit of research on various arms and ammunition and other protocol matters,” he says.
As he recalls the journey from conceptualising the book to pursuing the publishers, the lanky 24-year-old credits much of his progress to his mother who initially inculcated the habit of reading in him and the family support thereafter. “Nobody took me seriously initially when I started writing, at least not until I completed the entire draft. But then there was lot of excitement once I heard from the publishers,” says Anirudh.
Revelling in the positive feedback from readers and the publishers, Anirudh is already planning a sequel to Children of War. “I would like to build Black Team One as a brand and take it forward,” says an enthusiastic Anirudh.
About the book
Children on War
Published by Frog Books
Pp: 488; Rs. 345