Q&A: Krishnan S, Author of 'Elephant Hued'

Krishnan S, also fondly referred to as Meep, is a 24-year-old AI Researcher. Having been surrounded by literary content all his life and coming from a lineage of writers, he developed a unique, aesthetic writing style. Aside from writing, he spends a good chunk of his time composing an eclectic variety of music, reflecting on spirituality and reading papers in the field of artificial intelligence. Elephant Hued is his debut novel, and is an exploration of his relationship with art and spirituality. The book blends tradition with a contemporary, modern outlook.

I chat with him about his book Elephant Hued, his inspiration for writing the book, book recommendations, and much more.

Hello, Krishnan! Tell us a bit about yourself!

Hi! I’m a 24-year-old AI Researcher, a musician and now a writer. You can also refer to me by the name Meep, as many people in my circles do. My state of being could be accurately described as a ‘sleepyhead symphony’. I’ve lived in Kochi for most of my life except for the last two years which I spent at Hyderabad to do my M.Tech in AI. Coming from a lineage of writers, it feels good to have become an author myself.

Elephant Hued is my debut novella.

If you could only describe your book Elephant Hued in five words, what would they be?

Spiritually-tinted dive into love & separation.

Now tell us a little more about the book! What can readers expect?

Readers can expect themselves to be lost in the sweet reveries of the protagonist and their beloved companion Kuttan, set against the backdrops of many lush, detailed settings. It’s going to engage a spectrum of feelings; joy, longing, bittersweetness, and other emotions. It can be a little heavy emotionally, in a good way. If you’re a Malayali, you’re going to find extra goodies in the writing that’ll stir up nostalgia. And of course there’s the spiritual theme, which the eagle eyed reader could pick up on.

It’s Murakami-esque in its themes, so if you’re a Murakami fan, you’ll find it worth reading.

'Elephant Hued', published by Notion Press

What inspired you to write this novel?

I just sat down one day and started to write about my thoughts on spirituality, and somehow by crossing many a metaphorical bridges and rivers, it became a work of contemporary fiction. It evolved into quite a different beast from the seedling idea it had started off as.

Is there a scene, element, or character you really enjoyed creating and writing?

Writing Kuttan was a real joy for me. I would find myself becoming quite immersed when I would describe his mannerisms and actions, which is a lot. As for a scene, chapter number nine, where the protagonist and Kuttan “visit” a temple at night, was a real treat to write. Not going to say much more for fear of spoiling the fun.

What do you hope readers will take away from reading this book?

It boils down to the following; take a moment to pause and look at all the tiny details of the world around you. Small things can cause big changes. Be aware of being.

How have you been coping with the current pandemic and what will be the new normal for you post it?

Honestly, for me it’s been life as usual, sitting cooped up at home making music or watching streamers play video games. I don’t expect to have a new normal; life has new normals for you to dig into everyday.

What are you reading currently? Do you have any book recommendations for our readers?

Currently, I’ve just started reading Autobiography of a Yogi By Sri. Paramahansa Yogananda. It’s been recommended to me by a dear friend a number of times, so I’ve given in to his wishes. I’m only a few chapters in, it’s a fascinating read. Work and musical exploration leaves little energy for reading though, I ought to put more time into it.

For book recommendations, I would always push for a Murakami book. I think picking up one of his short story collections like The Elephant Vanishes would be a good entry point to figuring out whether Murakami is your cup of tea. You’ll look at the world differently in the process of reading one of his works.

The book ‘Elephant Hued’ is available online and at your nearest bookstore.

From Jammu, J&K; Studied in DPS, Jammu.