Ode to friendship

Fond of fiction, media professional C. Rajshekhar Rao continues to pursue his passion despite a busy schedule. Having written “India Beckons”, a collection of short stories, he has now come out with a short novel, “Middle-Aged Teenagers” (Prabhat Prakashan). The story is woven around a group of five friends, in their 40s, who embark on a stag weekend to Goa, hoping to relive earlier times. It brings out the contrast between this trip and one they had undertaken 23 years ago when they were just out of school, cash-strapped and immature. What is common in the two trips is their propensity to run into trouble. The book has a strong albeit subtle message for the readers which is one can pursue one’s desires which are not very difficult to achieve. In a chat, the author talks about his book and challenges of writing.


Friendship is the essence of your narrative…

I have always cherished my friendships and the ones since childhood are naturally the most precious ones. I had this strong urge to build a story around my closest friends because each one of them has a certain individuality and are yet so similar. Writers building characters on people is not new and that is how it has been with me.

What is the strong point of the book?

I feel the strong point of
Middle-Aged Teenagers
is that people will relate to it very easily and the anecdotes will provide a sense of déjà vu to them. However, while you may relate to the characters and the situations, also be ready for surprises and some dramatic sequences — it is all packed in here!

Does this genre have a place?

I think this genre – a short novel that is for everyone young at heart – definitely has a place for itself. Going forward I think this is what I would like to do more, but I also find great pleasure in writing short stories.

What is the message of the novel?

The story is not only an ode to friendship but also has a strong message for everyone out there – go pursue your dreams, even small ones. Just look around and see the overnight sensations produced nowadays thanks to social media and you can find enough examples. If they can do it, you can do it too.

What are the challenges of writing?

The challenge as a part-time writer is to find chunks of time. However, I did manage to do that at different periods and the result is now out there. The beauty of fiction is that it is out and out your own creation. It makes it much different from any other writing that you may have done. I only pray that people love this story and hope that one day this is made into a full-length movie!

The beauty of fiction is that it is out and out your own creation. It makes it much different from any other writing that you may have done

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