When I was a child, I always imagined I could become as good as anyone in this world. My friends remember me as silent boy but I always had something running in my mind. I still remember coming after school, sitting in the terrace and looking at the sky and having my mind getting lost to the farthest corners of the universe. (I don’t know if I can explain half the things in words.) But few of these imaginations formed into stories which kept repeating in my head again and again. I used to imagine one day these stories would become some great movies or books. I even tried to start writing them a dozen of times but they have never progressed beyond chapter 1.

I am a software engineer in the mid-twenties from a leading MNC company. If I turn back and look at my life, i.e. the road map of my achievements, I have been a studious person in school, joined a decent engineering college in merit and got a job on a campus recruitment, after which I passed out with distinction. But my biography seems, let us say a little, ‘Clichéd.’ I am just another normal software engineer like million others in the country. I wanted to do something different. But I just didn’t want to push myself into writing a book just to appear different.

Writing a book is not the only thing I have tried over the years, I have tried my luck few times in TV, once I was part of play in my school which was to be telecasted in a small channel but unfortunately the show got cancelled before we shot, part of a dance team in a TV show which I also doubt if it was ever telecasted, came as a volunteer in a magic show in Doordarshan, one time acted in a short film for a Viscom student as an handicapped and even once landed on the big screen when I acted as an junior artist in a low budget movie. Not to mention my numerous main acting roles and compering in school and college cultural. But these all began after my dreadful first appearance in stage.  I made a complete mockery of myself when I tried to make a speech which I completely forgot. It happened in my school assembly in front of the whole school, added to the fact that I was scared as my feeble voice echoed through the corridors. But I did not go into a hiding after that, rather came strong to the point of being considered one of the better speakers in my college and department.

I started to add the word ‘Yes’ in front of all the opportunities I saw coming, I mean literally! I tried my hand in cricket and football which I left coaching after a month, tried my strengths in karate which I also discontinued after trying by best for 2 years, got a green belt and later discontinue, planned to learn swimming but discontinued mostly because I had to wake up early morning on weekends. Even tried playing a guitar, being a rap singer, become an artist and even magic after watching a few YouTube videos. But I never went beyond chapter 1 in any of them.

But once in a while miracles happen and we must sieze them. One day late night in an office cafeteria, out of the blue I happened to tell one of my childhood stories to my friends. Though it was in its initial stages, the story was a fantasy delight filled with aliens, ancient civilizations and dragons. One of the girls told me she saw some videos related to the concepts of my story. That very night I wrote an abstract plot on a piece of paper and started researching for my book. After getting a basic outline for my book I started writing on a rainy night. But this time I started writing from chapter 2.

But writing a book was never a piece of cake .Having no background in writing and my greatest writing experience at that time being an one page article in a college magazine, I began my journey into writing. Right after writing chapter 4, I faced what I later knew it to be a writer’s block. I thought of having a break for two days, ended up without writing anything for months. Having to start again was one of the toughest challenges I ever faced.

After a while I gathered up my courage to start again only to pause many more times with one pause even lasting a year. Along the journey I also had to do a lot of sacrifices, I missed many outings with friends and even few vacations with family. Weekends wiled away with the book and even started to miss few block busters. Other major challenge I faced was to re write many chapters to accommodate an evolving plot due to my new ideas and sometimes discovering the same story already present in other forms of pop culture.

So what is my Alien story all about? My main thought when I started to write the story was, why should all alien stories begin in America? For a change it begins right here in Chennai. The story revolves around two characters Mona and her friend Thamba whom she recently friend-zoned. When the aliens come to earth suggesting they are here to sell their technology but rather have a sinister objective up their sleeves, it is up to Mona and Thamba to put aside their differences and work together to solve the mystery surrounding the aliens and save the earth.

Having a look back at my three year journey with the book and having a thought about the future I wonder this, What if I fail? In fact there I a huge probability. Many of the self-publishing authors don’t sell even a hundred books and most of them even can’t meet up with the investment they make on their books.  Somehow after all your hardships and completing your magnum opus, your heart sometimes believes that you would win.   But just rephrasing a beautiful statement, ‘Having got there doesn’t mean you will ‘get’ there.’

Then why should I even try? If we look at the bigger picture, all the flowers compete with their pollens to the bees while only few succeed, but all the  flowers blossom to their fullest potential and I will try to blossom again and again and one day I will bear fruit. Either as a fruit or only as a flower I will be useful for the children of the earth – just wondering! Quoting from a famous movie, ‘Life finds a way.’

– Paddy