"…I will strike a deal with the devil to write classics every time I hold a pen in my hand."

A conversation with Kiran Nagarkar

We live in a country that has at least twenty-four major languages but we are so narrowly self-centred , we are almost contemptuous of all other Indian languages. God help us. English, whether we like it or not, is now close to being a universal language but how can we forget that every language in the world is not only unique, it is truly priceless. All you need to do is pay attention, learn two or three other languages and you will be lost forever in the world’s greatest treasure houses

I was lucky with my first novel. I am sure there was substantial re-writing there but since I was writing in what was almost an alien tongue, I am told I was in a sense re-inventing my mother tongue. Let me not forget that barring a few critics who thought Saat Sakkam Trechalis was breaking totally new ground, the book earned such horrendous brickbats, I should have gone underground permanently and never shown my face again.

Hey my friend, wake up. Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Doris Lessing, Cervantes, Shaw, Shakespeare, Kabir, Jane Austen, Dante, Louis Ferdinand Celine, Tony Morrison, Camus, Zora Neale Hurston, Kalidas, Graham Greene, Maya Angelou, Tagore, Homer, the great epics and the finest authors in the world are good medicine when your ego is going on a trip of its own. Try the others to get some perspective on what makes for great literature.

Since we are indulging in fantasy here, maybe I will strike a deal with the devil to write classics every time I hold a pen in my hand.

I might write about Indian subjects because it is my milieu. But the world is shrinking. Hence my protagonists must decide where they want to go or live.

Guys, you are getting very nosy now. If you wish to spend the next year with me, maybe I will get to the nitty-gritty of what I edited.

Let’s just say writing doesn’t come easy to me.

What for? Most readers (I suspect I might be one of them) cannot see what stares them in the face.