You Stole My Song deftly weaves the serious issue of plagiarism with Bollywood drama and romance, making it a breezy read

What attracts you to You Stole My Song is a line that shouts out loud and clear from the middle of its lime green jacket. “Not based on a true story!” Ask authors Shammeer and Chandru about it and they laugh. “Well, the issue is real,” they say, a mischievous glint in their eyes, “But the story isn’t.”

Adapted from Paadhai’s (a band that Shammeer and Chandru are part of) Tamil musical novel Neon Nagaram, the book looks at the issue of plagiarism with a generous sprinkling of Bollywood-like drama and romance. “Neon Nagaram worked well in the South and is being made into a feature film,” says Shammeer, “That was when we were approached to do an English adaptation of the story.”

The story is about Nitin, who works under Bollywood’s most popular music composer Sunil Kumar. When a song he composes, ‘Zero Fikar’, is stolen by Sunil after it goes viral, Nitin is on the verge of a breakdown. His girlfriend too breaks up with him. “The Tamil novel looks at the issue rather seriously but I worked consciously on making this book a lighter read,” says Chandru. “While plagiarism forms the core, the love story makes it a breezy read for a pan-Indian audience.”

And much like Paadhai’s pioneering musical novels in Tamil, You Stole My Song too has an original composition accompanying it. “We do have a video song for this book too, called ‘Mahi Ve’, the band’s first Hindi song. It has taken us a year from start to finish and now, the journey is finally over. The book has received very encouraging reviews so far,” says Shammeer.

How did the idea for the book come about? “We had made friends with many sound engineers and they had their own stories,” says Shammeer, “Every sound engineer has a quirk and so it was easy to base a character on them. Our story is based on all of theirs.”

You Stole My Song is available at bookstores for Rs.150.