Published: 21st July 2017
Relive the peaceful drive around Necklace road during monsoons and many such moments through this Hyderabadi 's first book
In her debut novel, Shruti Malviya captures Hyderabad and the theme of friendship
The perfect time to indulge in a long drive and great conversation at Necklace Road, Hyderabad is when the rain clouds have done their job yet are still hovering in the sky, admiring their work. This is when Sahara Dandekar decided to take a friend out on a ride on her Vespa. They stop and indulge in a heart-to-heart while staring at the Buddha statue in the middle of Hussain Sagar lake.
This, and several other slices of Hyderabad have found their way into The Night Sky, the debut book of a true blue Hyderabadi — Shruti Malviya. Though the story itself is essentially about Sahara and Sharman — about their friendship (or is it love?) and their mutual friend who leaves behind a mysterious breadcrumb trail before he passes away — it all happens in the City of Nizams. Shruti believes it is the perfect city for the story because, "It is for people who are starting out; for those who don't want to be pushed into the rat race." Just like Sahara and Sharman.
There are many places in the city that people like me and others from Hyderabad will instantly recognise in the book
While Shruti was born in Bhopal like her protagonist Sahara (although she insists that their similarities end there), she is now accustomed to Hyderabad, calling it her home. The desire to become a writer developed when she was just in class VIII in Hyderabad Public School, but it was only after graduating from St Francis College for Women did she start working on this novel and quickly turned into a recluse to finish it. And somewhere along the way, those untidy notes that she jotted down in her notebook became a full-fledged novel which she classifies into the genre of fiction or slice of life.
Ensuring that friendship remained at the centre of it all, Shruti says, "I wanted to write about how people just abandon each other without being mindful of the repercussions that could follow." For this 24-year-old, sometimes Beethoven and other times 90s Bollywood music served as the background score as she wrote into the wee hours. "The music depended on the character I was writing about," she explains.
Rapid fire: When we say Hyderabad, the two things that immediately strike Shruti are Biryani and the laid-back lifestyle
While the book is published by Partridge India and is already up on Amazon, she has plans for an Instagram page for the book as well. Shruti, whose own Instagram account is filled with one aesthetically endearing picture after another, divulges that the posts will involve a good amount of calligraphy, lines from the book and pictures of the city (but of course!). The Facebook page that she started on June 28 already has 1,796 likes. In between sprucing up the book’s social media presence and baking a mean pie, Shruti hopes that people will enjoy reading her very first book as much as she enjoyed writing it.