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Success or failure cannot be guaranteed, but L Suresh knows that his first book, The Pilani Pilgrims, will definitely be compared to Chetan Bhagat’s genre of work. “My story (set in BITS Pilani) has been in my head long before Five Point Someone came out, but my timing was terrible. Work made it impossible for me to write, so I had to wait this long to publish. I know I will be looked on as someone who is following a successful writer and that is a tag I can’t run away from,” says the city-based advertising creative consultant, who is currently on a sabbatical to concentrate on his writing.
2Between the covers
The Pilani Pilgrims is a work of fiction that Suresh believes has universal appeal, but also targets ex-Bitsians. “The book has two parallel threads: nine guys who decide to have a reunion 18 years after they’ve passed out and a young girl from Chennai who is going to join the college. These two plots progress in tandem, meeting at the end,” says the author, who drew a lot from his personal experiences at BITS for the novel. Suresh admits his advertising background came in handy because it prepared him to write in different styles—from the language of an 18-year-old to that of a 40-year-old.

Making nostalgia work
Suresh chose to go the self-publishing route with the book because he felt it was niche. “Though the genre is popular, I wanted to target ex-Bitsians through forums, alumni groups, Facebook pages and the like. I also wanted to bring it out on August 1, International BITS Day,” he says. Meanwhile, he’s sent another book—about a man’s journey into fatherhood—to publishers and is starting work on his third novel—on a man who goes in search of friends he has lost touch with.
The Pilani Pilg-rims, published by Notion Press, is out today. `499. Details: facebook.com/thepilanipilgrims

—Surya Praphulla Kumar

 

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