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‘Put a pen to paper and fill that page’

‘Put a pen to paper and fill that page’
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Tell us a bit about yourself, how did writing happen? Was writing a step away or a step towards political analysis?
Politics and larger than life personalities, who are able to mesmerise crowds and touch a chord with the people before them, have interested me. This filtered through into my book. While writing Prisoner, Jailor, Prime Minister, the rise of Modi dominated the atmosphere. I was fascinated and it sparked a further interest in political analysis. It layered my thinking and my writing.

Tell us more about Prisoner Jailor Prime Minister. How did the idea come to you?
Although it’s a work of fiction, but something more than shadows of real people emerge from the pages. Modi’s character and those of Mayawati, Mamata, and Jayalalitha mingled into the lives of the actors in my book, giving it what I call ‘fictional realism’. The idea grew with the
politically charged days of 2013.

How difficult (or easy) was it to strike a balance between fact and fiction when you were writing Prisoner Jailor Prime Minister?
I have to say that what’s being played out around us as we head towards voting is thriller-like! Stranger than fiction! For example the rise of the mini-tsunami Arvind Kejriwal and the change he has had on politics is extraordinary. He has upset the clear run Modi had to victory. His importance lies in the fact that he may cost the BJP 50 to 60 seats on counting day making it well short of a majority. Two things can happen: If the BJP is the largest single party and has to bring together a wider rainbow coalition to form a government then a divisive leader like Modi will not be acceptable to some state parties who may otherwise have joined them. They would have to replace Modi with a more acceptable, mature face like Arun Jaitley. The other scenario is of course that a Federal Front is formed by most of the state parties with outside support from the Congress and the communists. Either way Modi’s goose would be cooked! So when I fictionalise this in the book the balance between fact and fiction was not too difficult!

Tell us about the best and worst of times you had while writing Prisoner Jailor Prime Minister.
There was no worst or best time! It was a rollercoaster ride for me where I was on a total high. The difficult time was creating Siddhartha Tagore- my hero. He is a conflicted, disturbed individual, both charismatic and controlled by opposite sides of his erotic personality and genius. He is a man who rides a Tsunami of his own creation. A powerful idealist – a flawed hero.

Tell us about your favourite part from Prisoner Jailor Prime Minister.
The book is politically menacing and sexually revealing. Every chapter increases this double helix. But if you pin me down, it’s the last chapter that made me stop my breath one night at midnight when I wrote it in bed on my phone. The next morning when I read it, I felt overwhelmed.

What’s next in the pipeline?
A sequel called Durga. Can’t reveal more!

What recommendations or suggestions would you have for wannabe writers?
This is what I always say since it worked for me: Start with a blank sheet of A4 paper, a fountain pen with royal blue ink and a few empty hours. Put pen to paper and fill that page. If you can, you can write! Go get your Mac or tablet and the words will fill your hard drive page after page. Just write on. Don’t revise. Go forward. Finish it!  Hey you’ve got a book that’s yours! It’s not easy but it’s not that hard. Don’t think of becoming that lonely writer in solitary confinement. Spend most of your time out of your home – on the streets in the malls- travelling to different places if you can. And watch TV! Read a few novels to prove to yourself that it can be done. Be a part of life and the world. It will come out beautifully in your words!
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