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Scholar-Journalist of the Week: Rise of the zombies

This week’s winner, Ekachit Khullar has a unique flair of combining political satire with fiction in his writing

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A class 9 student at Apeejay School, Panchsheel Park, Ekachit Khullar began his writing stint last year. His first piece, ‘Rise of the Zombies’ is a series of six chapters. The narrative amalgamates multiple themes on world politics, zombie attacks, health crises, and power struggles. Its introductory chapter was published at Apeejay Newsroom, after which Ekachit kept his creative flair going. In an interview, he talks about his literary influences, ability to combine themes and thoughts as a writer. Read On:

What are your interests and hobbies?

I like to be involved in art and craft, robotics, cricket, writing and building blocks.

How did you develop the flair to write?

Last year, I wrote ‘Rise of the Zombies’. That was my first piece. I intended to make it a book but, later, I scrapped the idea. I completed my theme in six chapters and so, didn’t think that it could become a whole book. I am still figuring out the structure and plot of how a book is written. I am learning.

‘Rise of the Zombies’ is a dense piece. Which authors/genres influence you?

I read either horror or comedy books. I also watch some zombie movies, which is reflected in my writing.

Have you tried to club horror with comedy?

Yes, but it’s difficult. I am still working towards how to best pair it. Humour and horror are extreme opposites, so it is a delicate dance.   

Your piece – ‘Rise of the Zombies’ consists of political references as well. Why?

My cousin-sister is a Political Science student. She often discusses with me about superpowers, economic crises, strife, and change of governments, etc. This finds space in my writing too.  

What is your writing process?

I get most of my ideas in the night or in the early morning. Even while I am sleeping, some ideas keep going in my subconscious mind. My process is to pen down my thoughts right after I wake up in the morning. That is the golden hour for me – it’s when I get my creative flair. I also search the web sometimes, to understand more about the kind of titles, references other authors take in their narratives. I usually keep writing and conceptualising, simultaneously. I decide on the central idea and keep building on it.

What would be your next piece of work?

I am writing another book titled – ‘Murder in the Hills’: It is a murder mystery. I started at it two months ago. Till now, I have penned down 12 chapters. I still have 10 more in order to complete the book as per my plan. Side by side, I am also working on a short story themed, ‘Confusion of Names’. It will be my upcoming comedy piece.

Do you aspire to become an author?

Yes. My ambition is to become an engineer first. Then, an author.

Any writing tips for fellow students?

Follow your original line of thought. Be inspired by others, but don’t copy them. 

Mrini Devnani is a Senior Correspondent and Marketing Coordinator at Newsroom. She covers student achievements, interviews and contributions for the website. She was a former Correspondent covering Edutech for the India Today Group, and has passion for Social Media and Digital Marketing. You can reach her at [email protected]

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