King of the word

Hindustan Times,14 April 2010


King of the word

He’s suave, good looking and writes like a dream. The 38-year-old winner of the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize, 2010, Rana Dasgupta spoke to HT City about 10,000 British Pound as award, possibly meeting the Queen and being a Delhiwallah. Dasgupta, who won the award for his second book, Solo, says the award ceremony, which was held in Delhi on Monday night, was “fun, but long”.

“There were a lot of long speeches and by the end of it, all the shortlisted authors just wanted to be put out of their misery.” He adds, “I had completely given up all hope of winning.” As is the custom, Dasgupta will now get a chance for a one-on-one with the Queen of England. “She is 84-years-old and has been at the center of all major events of the 20th century…but I am not sure if she will entertain such a topic,” he laughs.

Born and brought up in England, love brought Dasgupta to Delhi nine years ago. “I was at crossroads in life and wanted to start writing. I chose Delhi because I was in love with somebody who lived here and I wanted to be with her.” Though he confirms that he and his lady love have now been together for the past ten years, he refuses to divulge anything further.

In his next book, Dasgupta dwells on the gritty, present Delhi. “It is about the real Delhi, the new money, the noveau riche and the events that shape this fast changing city,” he says. The author finds the amazing community of people here inspiring. “It keeps your mind active. People are setting up new magazines, writing new books, the scale of Delhi’s cultural scene is huge. It would be difficult for me to write anywhere else in the world.”