IT professional Jayan Rajan talks about his short story collection Pension
Sixteen Malayalam short stories compiled in a book titled Pension has made Jayan Rajan an author. “It just happened,” says Jayan, on his new avatar. This is one IT professional who always wanted to get into movies and writing was “just a hobby”.
Nevertheless, his first book, published by DC Books, has found a space on bookshelves. “It is all because of my friends who liked my writing and encouraged me to publish them. I’ve never been an avid reader. But I loved to write. I used to post my works on my personal website and later on my blog. Two years ago, I approached DC Books with my works,” says Jayan. He used to work in Technopark before going to the United States on work. He is now in Kerala on a vacation.
The stories have been written over the last two years. “Each story is different from the other,” he asserts. And some of them are inspired pieces. Like Pension, which was inspired by an image made by his friend Anand P.G., head of modelling with animation major DreamWorks in Bangalore. “We knew each other. When I saw this particular image (which is also the front cover of the book), I wrote the story and sent it to him. He liked it a lot,” says Jayan.
Pension moves through letters written by Saraswathi, a 74-year-old retired school teacher, to Nirmala, and vice versa. Saraswathi’s husband, a freedom fighter, would get his pension only if he bribes an official, who happens to be Nirmala’s husband. The two develop a special relationship through letters. Another story Guruthwam is based on “a true story narrated by my friend Sanjay George.” Aparichithan and Arranged Marriage, two of the stories in the collection, have already been made into short films. “Since I am passionate about cinema, I knew the cinematic elements would reflect in my works. So, I’ve ensured that none of the stories fall into that mode. Yet, Aparichithan and Arranged Marriage got adapted as short films,” says Jayan, who has completed a one-year course in filmmaking from Paris.
“I had taken a sabbatical from work and did freelancing for two years. In fact, I was about to start a production company. But the investor backed out at the last minute, landing me in a soup. So, I rejoined my company,” he adds.
The author has stuck to simple, lucid prose in his stories. “People have appreciated that style. Some observed that I’ve used English words frequently. That is not deliberate, because we all converse that way in our daily life. However, P.F.Mathews, who wrote the foreword, has advised me to read more and improve my language,” Jayan says.
So, are there more books in the offing?
“It depends on the response to Pension,” says the 38-year-old, adding, that cinema is always his first love. Jayan, who did his schooling and college education in Thiruvanathapuram, has a degree in computers and used to work in a computer institute in Kochi before joining the IT field.