Published: 04th August 2021
Finally! This 30-year-old fulfilled his dream of becoming a published writer. Next, he wants to direct films!
First and foremost, Sai Nikhil Etikyala is a storyteller. He has now successfully written his very first book and is planning his second one too, while nurturing his dream of being a film director
This is not a love story, it is a story about love. That's how we would describe Sai Nikhil Etikyala's first novel A Consequence - The Dark Side of Love. A 71-year-old grandmother talking to 24-year-old heartbroken Dheeraj about this mysterious feeling, which unfolds one page at a time. The real winner of the story is the suspense element, which we will in no way give away. "The idea of this book sprouted from a conversation my own grandmother and I had when she lost her own brother, who was like her best friend. She was having a breakdown of sorts explaining to me their strong bond and that's when I thought of this novel," says the youngster.
Though the book was published this May, the 30-year-old has always been bursting at the seams with untold stories, but alas, circumstances weren't conducive enough for him to take the road not taken. But it wasn't just via the medium of books that he wanted to share the tales bubbling inside him. "It was in Class X when I expressed my explicit desire to make movies, but we were not in a good place as a family. My interests had to take a back seat and I focused on completing my studies and getting a job," says Sai Nikhil. But he did get a shot at making a short film in 2009, during his graduation years. While the shooting took a quick three days, it took three long months to edit, create the poster and get all the post-production work out of the way. But the short film, an action thriller titled Three, went on to win the first prize in a short film competition at CBIT and that was all the validation this Hyderabadi needed. "It was like a test fire that was successful. My confidence got the boost it needed," he shares delightedly.
Sai Nikhil with the book
But soon, when Sai Nikhil's bagged a job, it managed to pull him away from the world of stories. After hitting saturation point, he decided to pursue a PGDM in Management from the Indian Institute of Public Enterprise (IPE). "Though I published an ebook, A Rock, on Amazon, it was like I had broken up with storytelling, my core passion, and was down in the dumps. My friends, sister and brother-in-law motivated me to a great extent in this phase and that's how I started my blog exploracer.com in February 2020," says the youngster. His various articles on society, the next generation and parenting were doing the rounds on the internet but it is Martyrs of Tradition, the anthology that delivered stories about five different women, that did the trick.
Directors from the Telugu film industry Ravikanth Perepu and Koushik Pegallapati lavished him with such praises that it encouraged Sai Nikhil to start working on his first novel A Consequence - The Dark Side of Love in September 2020. "It is what I call a conversational fiction novel. It is about how love changes over time and the consequences of this change. In most books and movies, we are privy to the fluffy and frothy side of love, but this book also attempts to show us the other side," says Sai Nikhil who works as Senior Business Development Associate at InterviewBit, Bengaluru, and is now working from home (Hyderabad). It was out on Amazon alone, but this month, the book will be out as a paperback, available across all e-commerce websites. Exciting times for the young lad who has been hung on telling stories for a very long time now.
He also sent the book to actor Kalpika Ganesh for feedback and, in turn, she took to social media to express how much she liked the book
"My ultimate goal continues to be directing a Telugu movie because I do see myself as a visual storyteller. But I am also the kind who focuses on the journey, not so much the destination," says Sai Nikhil who is working on his next book, A Choice, which will be a science fiction thriller to be out in six months or so.