Encountered in Mumbai: Ajay Kamalakaran, Author and Journalist.
I first encountered Ajay online on Twitter. Later I happened to buy and read a book he wrote called Globetrotting for Love and Other Stories from Shakalin Island.
I bought it because I was always fascinated by Shakalin Island. It must have been images that I saw of that remote place and the accounts that I read but don't remember where about the original inhabitants of the Shalakin and some news stories about the relations between the Russians and the Japanese with relation to that Island. There was a famous book by Chekov called Shakalin Island too that opened the eyes of the world to that remote Island.
I picked up the book to know why a man with an Indian sounding name and who lived in Mumbai was writing about a place like Shakalin Island.
The stories in the book are fascinating and is window into how life was during the short lived oil boom there. Some of the stories there could be from Bangalore, Gurgaon, or Shenzen too. To know more, you will have to read the book.
To cut the long story short, Ajay was born in Vile Parle. He did his schooling in India and the US (because his father was transferred there on a job band then moved back). From what I could hear and whathe told me, he has a super power. He is very good with languages and can speak 10 of them fluently, including Russian. Thanks to his Russian, he works for half the year in Russia and the remaining here in Mumbai where he lives with his mother. He writes for a living.
FB Live with Ajay.
Ajay interviews people from Mumbai and broadcasts them to his friends worldwide using FB Live. i was his guest on Saturday, 6th May, 2018 and that was how I met him. After he spoke to me about this blog, we went for a walk to Versova village and the beach. These images are from there.