I'm Meghashyam Chirravoori. I live in New Delhi (India) and I write about everything I find interesting related to Sherlock Holmes.
What got you interested in Sherlock Holmes and when?
I still remember the summer holidays of 1999 when I was in grade 7. My grandfather was an avid reader; he showed me his huge collection of books and said, "Take your pick!" I happened to notice 'The Complete Sherlock Holmes: Vol I and II.'
And that's how I was introduced to Holmes' world.
Those holidays were wonderful. I still remember the fear and excitement I felt as I read The Hound of the Baskervilles. The Devil's Foot made me shiver to the extent that I was scared in the night in my grandparents' palatial house.
Then life got in the way and I forgot about Sherlock Holmes until I was 24 years old in 2012.
That was the time I started reading Kindle books instead of paper ones and the urge to read all the Sherlock Holmes stories and novels again struck me. I read them all again and was blown away - even more than I had been as a child!
This eventually led to me starting SherlockHolmes-Fan.com.
Did you get encouragement from friends and family? Did anyone question your interest?
Reactions from friends and family have varied from being neutral to supportive. My wife understands that I like Sherlock Holmes and his exploits and listens patiently when I sometimes babble on about him. This is quite commendable given that she hasn't read the stories and novels (though she's watched BBC's Sherlock.)
My parents, friends and most other people I meet in India seem a bit amused that I should spend so much time writing/thinking about a literary character.
While there aren't many people in India who passionately discuss Sherlock Holmes, I have had at least 2 interesting Sherlockian conversations with strangers in New Delhi who were also fond of Sherlock Holmes.
Who is your favourite screen Holmes and why?
For me, it's Benedict Cumberbatch. Let me explain...
Ever since I read the original stories, I had always thought: no screen adaptation could ever do justice to the novels and stories. This is because, in my opinion, the fantasy that's created in one's mind by a book can't really be matched by what another person (the movie or TV show director) creates.
Then I watched A Study in Pink. The reason I absolutely loved that episode (and the episodes that followed) was that while they used the names/references related to Sherlock Holmes, they created their own, parallel - amazing universe that was completely different from the world of Holmes in my mind.
Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock is very different from the Holmes of the books. His style, his attitude, the way he interacts with other characters, the modern setting - it's all different. That's what I like. I love that while he is depicting a character I know and love, what he's portraying is something different and beautiful. It's a splendid work of art that doesn't challenge the fantasy I experienced when I read the books.
Sherlock draws from the books but doesn't only imitate.
When did you first decide to write a book in the field and why?
I haven't yet written a book about Sherlock Holmes but I do plan to - one day. I've often dreamt of writing about an Indian Sherlock Holmes - a newbie sleuth with an Indian name who lives in New Delhi. He likes calling himself 'The Indian Sherlock Holmes' (and feels cool when others do so) because he's a big fan.
I guess I want to put myself in Holmes' shoes, here in India, and fantasize through a book!
At SherlockHolmes-Fan.com, I pursue and exhaustively research anything interesting related to Sherlock Holmes that intrigues me and write about what I find out. For example, some time ago, I delved deep into what the word 'Sherlock' means and wrote about it. In fact, I love the idea of researching something intriguing so much that I even have an 'Ask a Sherlock Holmes' question page on my site - where I want people to ask me questions about Holmes so that I can dig deep and find out answers.
How do you find the Sherlock Holmes community, any really positive or negative experiences?
Interacting with Sherlockians on-line has been a very positive experience for me.
I fondly remember participating in the 'live' quiz conducted by Chris Redmond from Sherlockian.net on Twitter a while ago. I love viewing my Twitter and blog feed and seeing people excitedly share interesting stuff about a character I admire too.
Recently, when one Sherlockian criticized the rights of women Sherlockians to express themselves and acted in a condescending manner, a lot of other Sherlockians (both men and women) came up with positive blog entries, Facebook posts and Tweets in support of female self-expression. I think this response represented a positive, active and healthy community.