Shreekumar Varma is a writer and teacher.
He is the recipient of the R. K. Narayan Award for Excellence in Writing in English, 2015.
His novel, LAMENT OF MOHINI (Penguin, 2000), was Longlisted for the Crossword Prize. It is now available as an E-book. His second novel, MARIA'S ROOM (Harper Collins, 2010), was Longlisted for the inaugural Man Asian Literary Prize. It was on the Vodaphone Crossword Longlist 2011. It is available as a 'talking book' for the blind and the print-challenged. His children's book, PAZHASSI RAJA: THE ROYAL REBEL, was published in 1997 by Macmillan. His children's novel, DEVIL'S GARDEN, was published by Puffin in July 2006. His children's book, THE MAGIC STORE OF NU-CHAM-VU (Puffin, 2009), was Shortlisted for the Vodaphone Crossword Book Award 2009. It has also been produced as a talking book. His forthcoming novels include THE AXE OF PARASHURAMA, GAYATRI CLUB and INDIAN SCOTCH.
His award-winning plays, THE DARK LORD and BOW OF RAMA, were staged by the British Council and The Hindu respectively. His play PLATFORM launched the 50th year celebrations of The Madras Players. MIDNIGHT HOTEL, Longlisted for the inaugural Hindu MetroPlus Playscripts Award, played to packed houses with ten shows in Chennai and Bangalore, and raised more than 40 lakh rupees for the Christian Medical College, Vellore. NATHU'S DREAM, his first musical, was performed by students of the Bala Vidya Mandir School. His political play, FIVE, was staged for a supper theatre audience. His murder mystery CAST PARTY had packed shows. His first short play, GANGA AT RISHIKESH, was an audience favourite at The Hindu MetroPlus Theatre Festival, 2012. Three mini plays have also been performed at the Alliance Francaise, INTERVENTION, DEMEANINGS and KICHADI EXPRESS--the first, experimental and interactive, the second and third were "blind theatre" with writers, performers and directors being picked out of a hat, as it were.
His poems, articles, reviews, short stories and interviews have appeared in several publications and Internet sites including The Hindu, Indian Express, Deccan Herald, Fiji Times, Akshara Journal, Aesthetica Quarterly, Seminar Magazine, Kavitanjali. com, Katha. com, A Hudson View, Trident, Pulse-Berlin Magazine, The Heritage, The London Delhi Poetry Quarterly, and Cinema Today. His stories, articles and poems have appeared in anthologies including the Poetry Society of India's collections, Penguin's Where The Rain Is Born, The Madras Players' Bring Down The House Lights, Puffin's Book of Poetry for Children, Puffin's Book of Funny Stories, Puffin's Favourite Stories for Boys, The Tenth Rasa: An Anthology of Nonsense Writing (Penguin), A Cup Of Chai (Unisun Publications), Kerala Kerala Quite Contrary (Rupa), Get Smart! Writing Skills (Puffin), Chicken Soup for the Indian Spiritual Soul (Westland), Why We Don't Talk (Rupa), Dark Moon Rising (Puffin), Urban Voice 4 (Leadstart Publishing), Funny Stories For Seven Year Olds (Puffin), Only Men Please (Unisun), The Heart Only Whispers (Glorioustimes), Indo-Australian Anthology of Contemporary Verse and Indo-Australian Anthology of Short Fiction (both Authorspress India).
He has translated poetry and fiction for the OUP Anthology of Malayalam Dalit Writings in Translation (Oxford University Press).
He has been a columnist for The Times of India Chennai Times, The New Indian Express, The Economic Times Madras Plus, The Hindu MetroPlus, Ritz Magazine and the Deccan Herald. He is also a literary reviewer for The Hindu and the Sunday Herald. He was an adjunct professor in Creative English at the Chennai Mathematical Institute for 13 years. He taught English Literature and Journalism at the Madras Christian College. He was a charter member and president of the Rotary Club of Madras Southwest. Two unique Bharathanatyam dance recitals, Vamshi and Monsoon, by renowned artiste Indira Kadambi were performed incorporating his poetry. He has written the script for a series of films on the Buddha for the visitors' centres at the Ajanta caves, etc. He has lectured and presented papers on Creative Writing at various Rotary Clubs, IIT (Madras), Ethiraj College, Meenakshi College, Madras Christian College, Loyola College, SRM University, The Madras University, International Women's Association, Chennai, Besant Women's College, Mangalore, etc. He was awarded the Charles Wallace [India] Trust fellowship, and was Writer-in-Residence at Stirling University, UK, in 2004.
He has been on the jury of the International Red Cross of India - Press Institute of India Award for Best Reporting from Conflict Zones, the inaugural The Hindu Best Fiction Award, and also short story and poetry competitions organised by Deccan Herald, Karadi Tales, IIT Chennai's Saarang and The Prakriti Foundation.
Shreekumar Varma was born on March 4, 1955, in Satelmond Palace, Poojapura, Thiruvananthapuram. His parents relocated to Madras and he began his schooling at the Good Shepherd's Convent. He also studied in the Madras Christian College High School. He graduated and did his M.A. and M.Phil. at the Madras Christian College. He did a Journalism course at the Bharathiya Vidya Bhavan. He began his studies in Law but the year he joined was strife-filled with seniors opposing the new semester system, so he applied to the Indian Express and became a journalist in Bombay the next year.
He is married to Geeta, and has two sons, Vinayak and Karthik. He is the grandson of Sethu Lakshmi Bai, Regent Maharani of the erstwhile Travancore State, and great grandson of the artist Raja Ravi Varma. He is the son of the present matriarch of the Travancore Royal Family. He lives in Chennai, India.