Whatever be the latitude and longitude, for Shashi who is one among the top ranking writers in India today, Pilani has always been an Oasis in the deserts of Rajasthan.
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Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison's quote - If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must be the one to write it - is what probably inspired Shashi Warrier who did M.A. (Hons) Economics during 1976 -81 from Birla Institute of Technology and Science – BITS Pilani . After careers in consulting, journalism and Software, full time writing became a mission with passion for Shashi in the mid 90s. Shashi has lectured in various national as well as international forums and conducted sessions on creative writing.
On October 21, 2011, Shashi took time of his busy schedule to visit Shridhar University and addressed the students and faculty in the lecture theatre. Prof Natarajan Pro Vice Chancellor gave a presentation about the University and introduced Shashi to the audience by giving a snapshot of various books authored by him.
In the book Night of the Krait, Shashi brings out in a gripping way the daredevilry of Lieutenant Colonel Rajan Menon – Raja who heads the mission to free the passengers which include a relative of the defence minister in Shatabdi Express from terrorists. The India Today magazine review for Shashi's Night of the Krait had thundered that Warrier can give Ludlum and Co a run for their money.
The Orphan Diaries by Shashi brings out the ruthless psychopath in Col Rajan who gets implicated in the rescue mission of abducted granddaughter of the Prime Minister and the missing of CBI diaries with sensitive information in bringing out the truth. Shashi’s book Sniper tells about Lt Col Eswaran (whose daughter was kidnapped, raped, beaten and burnt to death) hunt for Gul Mohammed in the jungles of Nagaland and the Grey Man responsible for his daughter’s death.
The master story teller Shashi’s best comes out in Hangman’s Journal which tells the story and trauma of Janardhan Pillai who had a 117 hangings to his credit each time thinking that it would be the last but soon returning to determine the length of the rope and the type of knot for the subsequent execution. Hangman’s Journal has been translated in several languages like Tamil, Malayalam, Marathi and Indonesian.
In the book Homecoming, Shashi does an anatomy and surgery of the Kashmir problem in his own inimitable style in the story of not just one family of carpet merchant Javed Sharif in Kashmir but also of the many families there whose lives have been destroyed by decades of violence and uncertainty.
It will be indeed surprising that the same Shashi who wrote the above books had also written books for children which include Sally and the Warlocks and other stories, The Marblewood Forest, The Hidden Continent and Suzy’s Gift. There was a thunderous applause When Prof Natarajan said that well before the Chetans of today had Bhagated the masses with their writings, Shashi was already a trailblazer.
No one has doubt that transformation of the individual by education is indeed precursor to social and economic transformation of society at large. Reiterating the same, Shashi in his speech emphasized that this transformation should happen by transdisciplinary education which is not only between disciplines and across different disciplines but goes beyond all disciplines.
Earlier in the day, Shashi also interacted with Lt Gen (Retd) Dr Mahesh Vij, Vice Chancellor and Prof Tarun Roy Choudhury who was classmate of Shashi’s elder brother Ravi Warrier at Pilani. Prof Natarajan thanked Shashi Warrier for his visit and gave a memento on behalf of Shridhar University.