Published: 12th October 2018
Through his debut novella, this Kochi filmmaker tells a thrilling story combining fiction and philosophy
MBA graduate Keshav Menon wants to create a readership through small stories by bringing life to novels of fiction and philosophy
Keshav, an MBA graduate in Media and Entertainment, has recently completed his novel The Peacock and the Phoenix and the story is nothing short of intriguing. Settled in Kochi, Keshav Menon began working in the advertisement industry during his twelfth grade and currently works as an Assistant Director for Malayalam movies, with his latest contribution being towards the 2018 film Maradona. Having taken up media as his choice of career, Keshav dedicates his spare time to penning short stories that convey some of his ideologies and opinions to his readers. The Peacock and the Phoenix is no ordinary story — while it consists of a plot and storyline like regular novels, it also carries a deeper philosophical context within its pages. The book revolves around the auctioning of a phenomenal painting, The Joys of Karma at an Iranian national art exhibition for an exorbitant price. The painting is purchased by a wealthy Sheikh, who demands to meet the artist in person.
Interesting read: The title of the novella reflects the notion of duality; the author has innovately used the imagery of birds in the title of his publication to convey a balanced view of two worlds, sans complete rejection of the other
One of the central characters of the story is Badr Milan, the manager of the mysterious artist, whose adventures relate to convincing the man to reveal his identity to his client. Keshav remarks that his novel encompasses both fiction and philosophy. “Unidirectionally, it has a plot about the painter and people wanting to know more about him, since his character is a mystery and everybody in the country wants to meet him. But subconsciously, the story speaks about how people trying to follow a particular ‘ism’, like communism, tend to consider another side to be completely wrong,” he says. He seeks to impart his own deciphering on the matter, saying that, “Everybody should accept everything, like when logical people sometimes consider the creative ones to be wrong or vice versa.”
Keshav’s novel is engaging and aligns itself with the notion that everything has a place of its own in the world. “Everything is right, nothing can be wrong. Us not understanding something and pushing the unknown away might not always be the solution,” says Keshav. This unknown quality is precisely what is mirrored in the mysterious nature of the other central character of his story, the prodigious painter himself. When asked to expand more about it, the author felt that one must read the novel to better understand the notion behind his writing, which he describes simply as being ‘compact’.
The author, who has portrayed his own beliefs and thoughts through his book, intends to continue writing short stories that have both a central plot, as well as a philosophical bedrock from where he draws inspiration. "There will be a lot of stories similar to this, although with different themes, stories that are short and compact," says Keshav.