AGRA, Aug 15 (IANS): Midway through a Chetan Bhagat book, 19-year-old engineering student Anshul Sharma had a sudden thought -- that he could do a better job at writing. What followed was months of confinement in his room, and finally, his maiden book.
Titled "It Should Be U!! My Love", the book has been published by Delhi-based Shristi Publishers.
"I was reading Chetan Bhagat's 'Three States' and suddenly I felt I could do a better job than Chetan. So for the next couple of months, I shut out myself completely to concentrate on writing my novel. I know it's tall talk and an audacity of oceanic proportion, but here I am with my trendy work which revolves around campuses and student life," Anshul told IANS in an interview.
The story revolves around teenage lovers Arnav and Anadi, who fall victim to destiny in a queer twist of events. Destiny unfolds unexpected plans, leading to pangs of separation and eventual "unification of two souls", transcending caste barriers and other divides.
Prodded to reveal more about the plot, Anshul said: "Believe it or not, Arnav and Anadi had their script already written. Had it not been for his love of cricket, Arnav would have never met Anadi, older than him, but a fairy to him. Arnav proved a smart guy, trying all his tricks to get noticed by his beloved, but destiny had other designs."
A slick cover, simple but racy narration, and liberal use of 'campus lingo' mark the 192-page novel. In the first couple of pages, the language and grammatical errors put you off but then you soon realise it's all been done deliberately, because that's the kind of language a stereotypical engineering student would use.
Anshul said he was fond of writing his personal diary from early childhood. Before taking up engineering at a college in Mathura, he had been to Ranchi, Shillong and many other places where his father, an air force officer, had been posted.
"These cultural cross-currents and understanding of people helped me to develop the plot of my novel. Obviously, it's not a perfect product but in subsequent ventures, I would be guided by reactions to this one," Anshul said.
However, Anshul said he believes in destiny.
"If hard work was the secret of success, then a donkey would have been the king of the jungle," the young writer said.