In his room in Pappanamcode, he sits in front of his computer and codes. It is not office work. It is a website he has created to write about Trivandrum: 'Tvmlife.com'. No one pays him for it. On another window he opens TidyCity.org, a website that he runs for a Trivandrum-based group which promotes anti-littering efforts. There is a lot more we learn about him as we watch how he makes use of all his technology know-how to work for the welfare of his hometown, Trivandrum.
Welcome to the world of Srijith Vijayamohan.
A website developer who works for a Technopark-based company called QBurst, Srijith hardly gets time to sleep because of his ever-full schedule that he has created for himself.
On a typical day, he wakes up early enough to play some cricket, goes to his office, comes back to catch up with some friends at a restaurant or a movie, and reaches homes to work on all the websites he maintain just for the passion of it. Srijith is also one of the busiest tweeters in Trivandrum, and the moderator of a number of online communities including the Trivandrum community in Orkut. He organised the first tweet-up in Trivandrum, a meeting of all Twitter members from the city. Outside his online life, he is one of the most seen guys in Purple Lounge, the only dedicated pub in Trivandrum. To give him more credit, despite all this busy schedule, Srijith manages to reach right on time for every commitment he has made—a quality that calls for a lot of appreciation in a typically ‘late’ city.
But we are just getting started. Biking and travelling are his major passions. But he does not just go about riding in the latest models like his peers. He volunteers for XBhp Trivandrum wing, an all-India bikers’ brotherhood, whose core theme is safe biking. “We just conducted a rally to make people aware of the need for helmets,” says Srijith. He has written reviews and scoops on Indian biking scene in his bike blog neo999.com.
Talking about his passions could run into pages. And, when Srijith has a passion for something, he develops and dedicates a website for it. He has a passion for technology, so there came techylife.com. Photography is another passion and out came fluids.in.
Whenever I have any kind of technical doubt or anything to know about Trivandrum, the first number I dial is Srijith’s. He is more than happy to help. I went about asking some others how he has made a difference in their lives.
Anil Sreedhar, a software engineer from Technopark, says: “He changed my opinion about Trivandrum, introduced me to the fast life in Trivandrum and got me interested in the online communities of the city.”
Wow, so much about Trivandrum. Says our hero: “I am not clear about the reasons, but people from other districts, atleast a few have a false impression about us. Part of it may be true considering the mixed population here. But the reality is far far better than what they have in mind. Let us all work together and set a model for others to show how Trivandrum is a better place to live and invest on.”
In his eyes, the city has it all. “In my opinion, we don't lack anything in the city and we are blessed with everything in abundance from human resources, education institutes, hospitals, sports facilities, entertainment centers, and what not? But abundance in a few things like the concentration of politicians camped in Trivandrum, recurring strikes and political processions affect the normal life and commercial activities in the city.”
Srijith’s love for his hometown becomes more pronounced as each person who talks about him refers to him as the first person they go to, to know anything about the city. “A walking encyclopedia on anything about Trivandrum, he is one awesome fellow who has showed me that a bit of hardwork and a lot of enthusiasm can turn any dream into reality,” says Aneesh Ramachandran, who works for Teach For India.
An aspirant filmmaker Manu Radhakrishnan too has similar things to say. “Anything from a small hotel in Vizhinjam to a hi-fi restaurant in the city, Srijith will know about it—he has been everywhere and knows everything about Trivandrum.”
To Karthika M Nair, who was new to the city some time ago, Srijith became the key to knowing what a wonderful city Trivandrum is. She says: “I thought only Kochi was the happening place in Kerala before I came here and met Srijith. He promotes Trivandrum so much and took us to many places here. I soon changed my opinion about the capital city.”
But it is not just for information on Trivandrum that people ask his help for. He also becomes the technical guide to many-a-newbie in the net world. Fashion Designer Vidya Gopalakrishnan swears he is the most helpful guy she knows. "Helped me set up my blog and takes care of it even now, after years. Never lost patience," she says laughing.
Akshaya Ravi, a literature student in Trivandrum, says that she owes a lot to him for "all kinds of help in the cyber world, right from creating a domain name to host my blog, to fixing every little technical snag I end up with, being a novice in the world of computers."
Rasika Ramesh would smile and tell you that he is her first boss after giving her the first pay in her life for contributing to tvmlife.com.
His colleague Sreenath turns emotional when he tells one of the stories of getting Srijith's help. “I recently bought a phone from the UK, and it was locked to a particular provider. I bought the unlock code, but couldn’t unlock it and was feeling terribly down because of that. I had spent quite an amount for that. Maybe after reading my tweets, he (Srijith) called up one day morning (an ISD call!) and asked me not to worry and that we could fix it up after I get back to India. And that call from him gave me confidence. I sat with the phone, read a few forums and unlocked it. What I thought was impossible for a couple of days, well... I should say, his call gave me the confidence to make it possible.”
Be it about technology or Trivandrum, Srijith is always glad to help anyone. To his friends, he is the first one they turn to, and sure to get an answer or at least a pat on the shoulder from.