Meet Jayan Rajan, an IT professional, who has turned author with his short story collection
Sixteen Malayalam short stories make Pension , Jayan Rajan’s debut work and he says “It just happened.” This IT professional always wanted to get into movies and writing for him was “just a hobby”.
Nevertheless, his first work, 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,” says Jayan.
“Each story is different,” he asserts. And some of them are inspired pieces. Like Pension , which was inspired by an image created by his friend Anand P.G., head of modelling with an animation major.“We knew each other.
When I saw this particular image (which is also on the book jacket) 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 pays bribe to an official, who is Nirmala’s husband. The two develop a special relationship through letters. Another story Guruthwam is based on a “true story narrated by another friend”.
Interestingly, two of the stories, Aparichithan and Arranged Marriage , 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 also done a one-year course in filmmaking in Paris. “I had taken a sabbatical from work and freelanced for two years.”
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. It is not deliberate, because we all converse that way in our daily life,” Jayan says.
So, are there more books in the offing? “It depends on the response for Pension ,” says the 38-year-old, adding, cinema will always be his first love.