When Booker winner Kiran Desai talked of how difficult it was to write a book, that it means years of isolation, Vineeth James laughed it off and quietly went back to writing his seventh novel. He is all of 12.
The author of Lion Fossil, Black Dangers and Batton Colors, Vineeth has been selected by the HRD ministry for this year’s national child award for his “exceptional achievement”. He will receive the award in New Delhi on November 14, Children’s Day.
Vineeth's parents noticed his talent when he was seven. They knew that the mounds of crumpled paper, in which Vineeth furiously scribbled away, would not go waste. They were right. At eight, Vineeth came out with his first work, a 55-page novel, Lion Fossil.
“I used to read a lot. That fired my imagination. Earlier, I used to destroy all that I wrote, but then I started collecting it,” said the seventh class student of the Peringom government high school near Payyanur, Kannur. His twin brother, Vivek James, also loves books, but poetry is his first love.
Like any other writer, Vineeth struggled to find a publisher — they shooed him away. “We really struggled. No publisher was ready to take a risk. But now, Vineeth is working with some big names,” his father James John, a teacher at the Peringom school, said.
Arthur Conan Doyle, Mark Twain and Charles Dickens are Vineeth’s favourite authors. “But I want to become a world class writer like Gabriel Garcia Marquez,” he said.
‘Devi’ gets recognition
‘Devi’, an Indian-inspired restaurant in New York, has been awarded a Michelin star in the Michelin Guide New York City 2007.
A creation of Suvir Saran and tandoori master Hemant Mathur, ‘Devi’ features in the second edition of the New York restaurant and hotel guide published by Michelin. The guide’s restaurant ratings, using Michelin stars, are the most famous and influential gastronomic ratings.
“We are proud to be recognised by this prestigious organisation and to be the first South Asian restaurant in the United States to receive a Michelin star,” said Saran.