Jamshed Velayuda Rajan (1975-Still alive & kicking) was born in Jamshedpur and hence the name.
His first attempt at writing a novel was when he was just 12 years old. Written in his double-line school notebook it was titled “The Sign of the Broken Spear.” He is glad it didn’t get published because it was fully inspired by Franklin W Dixon’s “The Sign of the Crooked Arrow.” Now whenever he reads it, he has a good laugh.
Jammy, as Jamshed V Rajan is affectionately called, loves spending time with kids. Playing with them, telling them stories and listening to their stories.
He intends to write books for kids from 4 to 18 years old. If you are interested in chatting up with him, do drop him an email at email@example.com
Before you connect with him, you should know the ten things CIA doesn’t know about this Indian author of children’s books. Here it in his own words:
I have a very unique name:
Call it my father’s patriotism (which comes from spending 32 years in the Indian Army) or my bad luck but my name represents four prominent religions of India – Parsee, Islam, Hinduism and Christianity. Jamshed is the Parsee and the Muslim bit. Velayuda is the Hindu part and Rajan, a Mallu Christian name. Am glad my father never forced me to wear his name ahead of mine. Otherwise, would not have written entrance exams for – PM-PD, AFMC, JIPMER, IIT-JEE – for the sole reason that the slot for the candidate`s name on the forms had only 28 squares but my name would have had 29 alphabets.
Chennai is but a small stop:
Thanks to an Armyman father, I moved cities every three years. From rajma-chawal of Jamshedpur to makki-di-roti and sarson-da-saag of Jalandhar to the kombidi-ka-piece of Kholapur to the mishti-doi of Kolkata, I have seen it all. Hoping to move from Gurgaon soon.
I am a renowned two-timer:
Started it in the sixth grade. It was a lot easier then. Just that my Biology teacher K Geetakumari madam and the chirrupy class monitor Gitanjali never knew that I was dating both of them.
I have crossed swords with my father:
Once I was caught by my father with a love letter written for my class monitor Gitanjali. Convinced him that it was for the Doordarshan newsreader Geetanjali. The one who would alternate with Usha Alberquqe (the one who would eventually marry ‘Shaktiman’). Did not know then that she was my father`s crush too, for I got a good spanking for trespassing.
I thought I was a scientist:
My love for science made me think I was destined to be a scientist. I know it is hard to believe but once I had my own laboratory. It had different kinds rock, plastics, glass pieces, leaves and what not. I even had a microscope made of a shoe-box, a hollow aggarbati pipe and a broken 100 watts bulb filled with water. I would even embark on one of those walks of self-discovery because I was told that`s what scientists did. Stay aloof.
I have always taken risks:
When in ninth grade, I remember taking two aluminum wires and inserting one end of both in the two holes of a electrical socket and immersing the other two ends in a steel jar filled with water. The idea was to heat the water. The experiment ended with a blast when the main fuse of a 12-storied building that housed 48 houses went off minutes before Chitrahaar was due.
I studied Economics coz I wanted to ape Manmohan Singh:
I studied BA Economics at the interestingly named The American College in Madurai. I would go on to score 94 per cent in the first year and set a university record (I have no proof, just my prof’s words). Would blame it on Manmohan Singh, who had that year been named ‘Asian Finance Minister of the Year’ (think it was 1995).
I screw up:
When in college I was blinded by love. Ended up giving a love letter intended for Shalini Mohan to her sister Sunita Mohan (names changed to preserve the identity of the girls). When last heard Shalini was spanked and the sisters had ceased to be friends. The letter came back, but the Amul chocolate (a gift for someone you love, I was told by a male model) is yet to come back. Don’t know which of the sisters had it.
I was the Library man:
In college, I would borrow huge colorful books because they helped me garner eye-balls in the bus. I would bring them back to the Library without reading. Incidentally, I was given the ‘Best Bookkeeper’ award. They thought I maintained them nicely.
Milkha Singh was my one-time hero:
Till I joined Sify, I was very much a sports person. I captained Tamil Nadu’s Kabaddi team to a tournament in Jaipur, where I would be selected to represent the country (School Games Federation of India). Later, I wanted to become a champion middle distance runner. I would practice night and day at the Race Course Athletics stadium in Madurai until that fateful day when a man quite happy and gay walked up to me even as I was warming down and asked me if I was open to sexual experimentation.
So am I India’s best kid’s author? Maybe not. But do check back soon.