Chatline On weekends, IGP Sunil Kumar lets the criminal-chasing cop in him step aside and make way for the writer, says P. Samuel Jonathan

The chirping of birds fills the misty air as Inspector General of Police, South Coastal Zone, P. V. Sunil Kumar, settles down for a leisurely chat. A senior IPS officer who has served in Maoist and faction-ridden districts before heading the Special Protection Force, an elite force guarding key installations in the state, Sunil Kumar gets candid about his passion for writing.

“Writing is a documentation of contemporary society. I have chosen popular style of writing to rekindle people’s interest. Unlike serious writers of yesteryears who churned out reams of pages with melancholy that kills a reader’s interest, my writings serve a social purpose as well. When readers tell me that my novels have ignited their thoughts on contemporary issues, I realise the value of a writer,’’ says Sunil Kumar.

His two novels, Prarambham and Sayyaata are a throwback to the popular style of writing which had enamoured readers for generations. In Sayyaata , his first novel, a racy romantic thriller, Sunil Kumar explores the bonds of friendship between a Brahmin and a Dalit boy.

The storyline revolves around two men, Rahul and Tarun, who work in the same office but differ in their perception of life. A charming Bengali woman, Richa Gangopadhyay, walks into their life and the two men race against time to win her heart. A Harley Davidson, the classic symbol of masculinity, is the trophy for the winner. The readers are taken through a delightful journey fraught with complex subtleties of characters skilfully interwoven into the main plot.

Rahul is a charming and successful professional pitted against Tarun, a gentleman from a respectable family of Communists. They lead diverse personal lives. Rahul enjoys flirting and has a caring wife who dotes on him while his friend Tarun is an introvert who tries to remain content with a quarrelsome and an ever-suspiciouswife.

As the two men engage in an interesting game to outwit each other in a desperate attempt to charm the Bengali beauty, the writer lets loose several other characters that closely resemble the ones found in the contemporary society.

Enters an ambitious news anchor Seetha Reddy who gets intimate with Chandram, a faction leader, and charts out a new path for herself. Brahmananda Swamy is a perverse self-styled baba who exploits devotees but he is finally exposed. Chandram is consumed by the sword he used it with such power and precision.

There is a sudden twist when Sunil Kumar introduces an element of surprise. It turns out that Rahul and Tarun are split personalities of a single being (a mental disorder in which a person acquires several personalities that function independently).

“The characterisation of Seetha Reddy is dynamic. It implies that life offers us options, some opt for a beaten track and some chose to break the shackles,’’ he explains.

The cop has also penned the story for a yet-to-be-released movie.

An admirer of Alfred Hitchcock, Sunil Kumar loves to experiment with plots. Despite a tight schedule that comprises overseeing administrative jurisdiction of a force covering three districts, how does he manage to find time to write? “I make use of the weekends. If I think like a police officer when I write, I will end up writing a Police Manuel,’’ he breaks into a chuckle.

“Policing and writing are two different things. While writing, I bring into play my sub conscious mind and strictly keep the police point of view at bay. My first novel is slightly critical of the Police Department and I deliberately avoid the IPS tag to my name,’’ he says.

Post two successful novels, Sunil Kumar is raring to go. His next work is an occult thriller which he hopes to complete this year. “After that, I want to focus on contemporary media and failure of media organisations to speak up for the common man. The conventional media is owned by capitalists and speaks only for them while what we are beginning to see is an ‘adventurous’ media, which is as lumpenised,” he signs off.

If I think like a police officer when I write, I will end up writing a Police Manuel