Interview With Karunakaran Shaji, Author of ‘Sreedevi Talkies’

About The Author:
Karunakaran Shaji teaches English Literature at RIE, Mysore. His other books are ‘Enchanted Aeolian Harps — Readings in English Romanticism’ and ‘Dark Primeval Male in Thomas Hardy’. He is a native of Chengannur, Kerala.

Chit Chat Session

Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I teach English Literature at RIE, Mysore. I belong a middle class family from Chengannur, Kerala

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
It had been there with me since my childhood days. My father who has been a teacher instilled the desire the read a lot. We had a fairly good collection of books at home. He taught me all those great stories and characters in literature. It is precisely these factors that contributed

What have you written? Give us an insight into your book
There had been a Talkies in our village. We grew up watching films there. Talkies had been an integral part of the life of the community in those times. With the arrival of television and other media, our Talkies too vanished into nostalgic memories. In my dreams very often that good old Talkies and its memories come back. Thus the theme struck my mind. All those associations came back…a dream like journey into a past which is no longer available.

How did ‘Sreedevi Talkies’? Could you describe the journey? 
I had to write this. There was no other way. It was an act of paying back all those people who are no more. It is my tribute to the mystique of the past.

Which Authors inspire you?
The writer I admire most is Thomas Hardy, along with O.V.Vijayan

You are a teacher by profession. How did this major transformation happen (from being a teacher to a successful writer)?
Often I draw inspiration from the classroom. It is almost inseparable, these two realities, being a teacher and being a writer. I could not have been in any other profession. Perhaps there is no other profession that gives this much space to creativity. Every class is a moment of Satori.

Some words for your readers.
Literature is not just for weekend reading. It is a parallel reality. One must be reading the great literature to understand this, not the pulp fiction that is passed on in the name of literature