What does this award mean to you?
This is my first Sahitya Akademi award, and obviously it feels wonderful.
It is a collection of short stories and was published in languages other than Urdu, as Raavi Paar.
What do you like more—poetry or prose?
Poetry is a bigger passion for me. I'd rather be recognised as a poet.
Is writing really more satisfying than cinema?
It's not a question of more or less satisfying. I've always been more passionate about writing.
Do you attribute your readership to cinema?
It's hard to tell if they read my books after coming to my films or see my films after reading my books.
You are recognised more for your cinema writing. Has that been a handicap?
Because of films I am recognised. As a writer it has been a handicap because the literary circle perceives me as a man from films. I've actually had difficulty in getting the approval of the literary masters.
How do you explain your interest in Urdu?
The credit must go...