My name is Sitharaam Jayakumar and my friends call me Jai. I am fifty-three years old. I have nearly thirty years experience in the IT field.. I am keenly interested in politics, music, cricket, books – both fiction and nonfiction, writing poetry, articles and fictional stories. I am a B-Tech in Metallurgical Engineering from IIT-BHU (formerly IT-BHU). I also hold a post graduate honors diploma in Systems Management. I live in Cochin, Kerala, India with my wife and the joy of our lives, our thirteen-year-old daughter. My daughter is in the ninth grade and is a competent violinist. I take a lot of interest in music myself.
I listen to both western and Indian music. Since I belong to a much older generation, my favorite music groups are from the seventies and eighties. These include Olivia Newton-John, Eagles, Queen, Wham etc. I love classical numbers by Simon and Garfunkel. I simply love instrumental music by Santana. I am a Beatles maniac. Among the new crop of musicians, I like Christina Aguilera, Katy Perry, Britney Spears, Tracy Chapman and several others.
I started learning the Keyboard last year and continued with my lessons till a few months back. I made considerable progress with the Keyboard. I am currently taking a small break from the Keyboard classes. I plan to resume them soon. I used to be a keen cinema buff during my college days but off-late I don’t find the time for cinema and the amount of time spent at the movie halls has decreased drastically.
Despite this, I do have my favourite actors and actresses. Among the movies, I have watched my favourites are Shawshank Redemption and Titanic. I am a fan of Morgan Freeman, Daniel Craig and Liam Neeson. Among actresses, I am very fond of Meryl Streep, Halle Berry and Julia Roberts. Among yesteryear actresses, I admire the beauty and grace of Ingrid Bergman and Madhu Bala an Indian actress.
The only foreign country I have ever visited is the United Kingdom. My sister works as an ophthalmologist in the National Health Services in the UK which gave me the opportunity to visit that country. The other passion of my life is reading. I love all kinds of books. I started reading when I was in the sixth grade. I started with Enid Blyton, graduated to Hardy Boys, Erle Stanley Gardner and followed it up with Agatha Christie, Robert Ludlum and several others. There has been no looking back since then.
During my middle years, I moved over to non-fiction and read a lot of books on Philosophy. I read Bertrand Russel and several others. I found the books by Ayn Rand in which she uses fiction to bring out philosophical points of view extremely interesting and thought-provoking. I am still a passionate reader and I am quite sure I will never grow out of the habit.
But my love affair with writing began just two years back. There is a bit of a story about how I started writing. Every year, in the month of January the employees of the company where I worked for fourteen years used to celebrate their founding day function. Normally, there would be a cultural program and people would sing songs, dance and several cultural events would be conducted. I would usually sit among the audience, enjoy the program, have dinner and come back home on these occasions.
In the year 2017, the organisers insisted I perform something on stage as part of the program. Initially, I had no idea what I could do. I had never performed on stage at any time in my life. I asked my close friend who was also the chief organiser for suggestions. He said to me, ‘Jai why don’t you write and present a poem?’ Well, I had never thought of myself as a creative person and immediately dismissed the idea.
But the Sunday just before the function I was sitting in front of my laptop and just for the heck of it, I tried to write a poem. I came up with a poem based on the antics of my mischievous ten-year-old daughter. I presented the poem at the function and it was a huge success. I put the poem in a blog and my first blog “Jai’s Writing Retreat” was born. You can read the full poem that I wrote for my daughter here.
When I began my blog I planned to write only poetry as I did not trust my ability to write anything else. But, one thing led to another and soon I started writing articles. My repertoire included articles on topics like gender equality, politics, education and several others. Soon I added photography and finally, fiction made its appearance. At this point I let go of the title “Jai’s Writing Retreat” and renamed my blog “Jai’s Jottings”. All my posts are now included in Jai’s Jottings, the blog you are currently reading. I have also published two eBooks on Amazon. These belong to the thriller fiction genre and are titled ‘Eighty Hours to Save Karen’ and ‘The Krishnapur Kidnappings. In addition I have also penned a book in the sports genre titled ‘A To Z Of Men And Women Who Excelled In Sports’.