Malathi was on her wheel chair. She was looking at the Times of India’s exclusive interview of Ashwin which appeared soon after his work Unwilling Martyr became a runaway bestseller topping the sales charts. Ashwin and Selvi were sitting on the floor discussing something. Malathi wanted to know about the recent developments in IL. Malathi: If my guess is right our story, The Lovers’ Park, had a happy ending on 18th August, 2011. It’s November now. And December is round the corner. I wonder why Varalotti has not yet started a new serial? Selvi: Aunty, I was about to tell you. I met Varalotti’s wife in Eco Park. Malathi: Really? Selvi: She’s a regular in the park. I casually asked her what Varalotti is up to these days. She says that he is trying to make our story into an e-book. Malathi: That’s nice to hear. Selvi: And she also told me about the new serial he’s planning to start. Ashwin: Last time it was the Eco Park. Probably this time it should be the Marina Beach. Right? Selvi: This time the story happens all over the place. In Madurai, Chennai and there’s an US connection too, not to mention the role of an underdeveloped village in Andhra Pradesh. Malathi: Is he writing the script for a documentary film? Or has he started to work for the Films Division? Selvi: No, Ma. His wife tells me that this is going to be a romance serial once again. You can’t trust Varalotti. But you can always trust his wife. She never lies. Malathi: I know. Did she tell you what the story is all about? Ashwin: Can I guess? It’s love between a rich girl and a not so rich boy. Selvi: Hey, how do you know that? Ashwin: Varalotti’s formula. The girl then ditches him. The boy is about to kill himself. Then an Angel saves him. Another angel falls in love with him. They marry and ‘lived happily everafter.’ That’s his formula. Malathi: You are very uncharitable to Varalotti, Ashwin. Ashwin: Sorry, Aunty. Selvi: This time the story is way different. It’s about a young trainer by name Rishi. I heard that Varalotti himself was a trainer for sometime. His wife told me that he is bringing those experiences to the table. Ashwin: Then that should be different. Malathi: Has he given a name to the serial? Selvi: Yes. Learn to Love. Ashwin: Love is something that happens on its own. What’s there to learn? Selvi: Ashwin, why are you so unkind to him? After all it was he who brought us into existence. Ashwin: Cut the crap. Tell me what’s the name of the heroine? Selvi: Ananya. Ashwin: Nice name. In fact I thought of giving that name to our first child if she’s a girl. Selvi blushed. She knew she was carrying. And yet she had not chosen to reveal it to Ashwin. Malathi: Do you know the meaning of the name, Ashwin? Ashwin: No, Aunty. Malathi: You see in sanskrit anya means a stranger. Ananya is the opposite of anya, it literally means one who is not a stranger. It means someone who is very close. Selvi: Then it’s a very apt name, Aunty. She is very close to her lover. And yet.. you know.. His wife was about to say something but checked herself at the last moment. Perhaps she knows the story. Varalotti should have told her not to reveal the story. But I heard a rumour about the new serial. Malathi: What’s the rumour? Selvi: Varalotti has already posted a short story in IL. It came in Anandavikatan magazine several years ago. And now he’s expanding it into a serial. Malathi: There’s nothing wrong in it. Jeyakanthan wrote a short story under the title Agni Pravesam. Which he later expanded into a novel, Sila Nerangalil Sila Manitharkal. And then it was made into a film. Ashwin: Really? Then I can also think of making my short stories into novels. Malathi: Why not? Selvi, tell me when does Varalotti’s new serial start? Selvi: 1st of December. Looks like it will be there for ten weeks. Varalotti is a little apprehensive about the reception he might have for the story. You know it’s vacation time. And the IL blog space is crowded. His wife told me that he is a little anxious about the readership. Ashwin: Ask him to be anxious about the quality of his writing. If he writes well there will be no dearth of readers. Malathi: This time let’s all read the story together. We can discuss the story line later. I hope the ILites will like the story. Selvi: His wife wants every one to pray for him. He is a little concerned. Poor lady, she too is worried. Malathi: May God give him the strength and wisdom to write a story that’ll bring happiness and peace to the minds of his readers, the ILites. Ashwin and Selvi: Amen!