25 October, 2020

‘My Characters Are A Fusion, Not Exact Models’

On his new novel —Naipaul, Mayawati, Mala Singh ... and of course the new India

‘My Characters Are A Fusion, Not Exact Models’

Aatish Taseer talks to Anjali Puri about his new novel:

The petulant writer in your new book, with his party talk about civilisational Hindu values and Muslim invasions, seems to have a real-life model. Who?

A lot of these characters are a fusion, so it’s hard to speak of models.

Naipaul is a name that comes to mind...

I know him and I have a personal relationship with him but all Vijaipal’s opinions would by no means be Naipaul’s.

And the feisty CM of a state bordering Delhi, with a penchant for chiffons?

I thought of women CMs, powerful figures, royals in politics, like Rajmata Jaipur, and Vasundhararaje. But nothing of the actual action in my book has any real basis, and once a character enters a fictional setting they behave and adapt to that.

You’re not worried that a formidable Ms Singh with a diminutive Sikh husband will be after you?

(Laughs) For that character, you could point to four or five...



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