When media professional Nikhil Raj decided to release his first novel, he chose a DIY approach that reflected his background of working in Mumbai’s independent music scene. He set up a website and made the novel available for download, deploying the pay-what-you-like pricing model.
The story itself, set in a very recognisable Mumbai city, follows the exploits of the protagonist Vikas Das, an entrepreneur. It chronicles a phase in his life following a bitter dispute with his business partner, an incident his friends refer to as his ‘divorce’. With an accelerating plot, the story weaves through the psyche of a young man grappling with a drinking habit and the knack for finding himself in strange predicaments. Through these predicaments, Vikas finds himself face-to-face with politicians, the police, and miles outside his comfort zone, all the while absorbing some thought provoking ideas from the unlikeliest of sources.
The story is peppered with subtle references to Mumbai’s bars and indie music scene. Complementing the narrative, Raj often drops names of songs and albums that paint a vivid picture, bringing the setting to life.
In addition to his novel, Raj brought together a stellar lineup of individuals to create an audiobook. Recorded and released independently, the audiobook features different readers narrating each of the 15 chapters and an epilogue.
Comedians Daniel Fernandes and Abish Mathew, acclaimed Chef Thomas Zacharias, Actors Mantra Mugdh, Hazel Keech, Preetika Chawla, RJ Rohini Ramanathan, Musicians Nikhil Dsouza and Maalavika Manoj are just some of the diverse voices involved. A special cameo by comic strip writer Stephan Pastis of Pearls Before Swine fame puts an exclamation point on this powerhouse lineup.
Available on open platforms (pay what you want) across Youtube, Spotify or ebook , you can find a copy of this fresh new novel here