A Civil Engineer from BITS Pilani, L Suresh figured rather early in life that building brands and constructing sentences were more fun than say, building bridges and constructing houses. Since chasing dreams was always going to be a tad easier than chasing reality, he began a decade-long journey that led to several whistle-stops in leading ad agencies. His entry into the professional world was through HCL Hewlett-Packard, where he was part of the CAD-CAM team. This was a badge that would stay with him as he attracted IT accounts in every agency that he worked for. The tag followed him into the world of journalism, with two columns in The Metro Plus, a supplement of The Hindu. Not surprisingly, both happen to be on the lighter side of technology.

l_suresh"I've always been interested in writing. Even when in BITS, I spent more time in the press than in classrooms. So when I passed out, the thought that was topmost in my mind was that I should seek a career that allows me to write. Or better still, I should make writing my career," says Suresh. During the turn of the millennium, he moved into the world of multimedia and the World Wide Web –the combination of a creative interface with a technology backend was exhilarating.

In 2003, he quit his last-held job as Creative Director of Contract Advertising and hit the road with his own venture - a self-proprietorship that would offer creative and copy services in his areas of experience. "The advertising industry accepted me warmly and taught me a lot of things about writing, about the creative process and about creating a brand. I'm doing all three now with my book. I've just finished writing it, am currently using my creative skills to publicise it online and simultaneously trying to create a brand out of it," he adds.

“The writing itch that I contracted years ago didn't subside with what I was doing. I had to channelise my book ideas and come out with stories. The thought was hibernating for eons in the mind, soon I reached a point where I realised that it had begun festering inside me,” he says. This is when he decided to take a sabbatical from his work to focus on his books.

About the book:

The Pilani Pilgrims is a work of fiction that draws from events and places in BITS, Pilani. The story is about nine guys who take off on a reunion trip to their alma mater. It’s going to be the first time they’re going back to campus after passing out. A series of mails amongst the group kickstarts the planning and fuels their excitement. They’re going to meet up together as a gang after 18 long years, and they’re going to do so at the place where it all began – BITS Pilani.

In another thread, Maitreyee, a 17-year old gets admission in BITS Pilani and is being convinced by her Mom to get packed and get set for a long train journey to BITS, the college where her late father studied. Maitreyee is quite unsure as to which of the three she hates most - the packing part, leaving all her friends behind and going to a college in the middle of a desert or taking the arduous 34-hour train journey.

While packing, she comes across a book that contains a set of letters, written almost two decades ago to her Mom by a stranger who seemed to be in love with her. Why would Mom hold on to these letters with such fervour? She had fallen in love with her classmate and had gotten married to him, so how did this stranger fit into the picture? Maitreyee decides to sneak the book into her luggage and read it on her way to Pilani.

The nine guys have reached Pilani and are on a complete nostalgia trip. They have a blast in the present, and relive the past. Inane memories, insane incidents, little pranks and life-altering events are all recalled and played back. But their choice of BITS as their meeting place wasn’t based entirely on sentiment - they were there for a purpose.

Meanwhile, the book of letters that Maitreyee has dubbed 'The Joe Chronicles' - after the name of the stranger - is giving her insights into the life of the man called Joe. Will the book give her the answers to the ‘love triangle’ that her Mom seemed to have been in?

Who was Joe?

Where did he vanish all of a sudden?

Why do the nine guys choose hot, hot July to have a reunion on campus?

What is the hidden motive behind their meeting?

How does Maitreyee come to terms with her unexpected discovery?

A treasure chest of memories is opened as a series of mails sweeps everyone off their feet and takes them on an unforgettable journey to the land where the past is going to come face to face with the future.

The two seemingly unconnected threads eventually find themselves ending on a common note. And what brings them together is the place that contains the pasts of the nine guys and the future of Maitreyee - BITS Pilani.

The author says, "BITS, Pilani is an experience. Reading about a BITSIAN's life will take one half of the readers back to their own college days. And the other half to the brink of envy, wishing they had studied in BITS too."

The book is being launched on Aug 1 on the occasion of BITS Day. It will be available on Flipkart and Amazon.


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