Anju Sajith, a Palakkad native from Kerala decided to utilise the pandemic-induced lockdown creatively, little did she know that her attempt would get her name etched on the prestigious India Book of Records.
Recently, she shared the Book of Records with the Tamil poet and writer Bho Manivannan, for developing a novel uniquely.
The duo wrote the chapters of the novel- Ven Tharishu Nilangal- in each other’s mother tongue. Anju penned some in Malayalam, and Manivannan wrote a section in Tamil as well. Within a month both of them released the full book in their regional language as well. Anju claims that the novel was an attempt to revive the art of writing during the lockdown days.
“Manivannan is a college professor in Ooty. I came across a Malayalam version of one of his Tamil poems, and the work piqued my interest. Later we spoke on social media, and in one of our conversations, I understood that he has plans to write his first novel.
He was the one who came up with the idea of writing a novel half in Tamil and the rest in Malayalam. Though it sounded weird at first, I decided to give it a shot as it seemed to be a unique attempt in literature,” says Anju, who worked as a Malayalam teacher in Indian School in UAE for 12 years.
Writing the same novel by two authors was not an easy task. “We both did not know how to read each other’s mother tongue. So, he read me each chapter of his draft as voice messages and after understanding its meaning I finished the rest and read my parts to him in the same way,” says Anju.
After completing the half-Tamil- half-Malayalam novel, the duo learned each other’s mother tongue and released Ven Tharishu Nilangal in Malayalam and Ven Tharishu Nilam in Tamil. The book revolves around the Tamil culture, rural lives and the protagonists Marvarman and Isabella. It was published by Unicode Self-Publishing Co and Notion Press respectively.
Apart from inspiring people to achieve, the record can also be considered as an example to show the wide possibilities of social media if used wisely. “I have not met Manivannan and all our discussions on the novel happened via social media. So, if we use the platform wisely the possibilities are umpteen,” says Anju.