12 May, 2021

Stylish Raconteur

Gita Mehta's latest hardhitting tome on modern India, 'Snakes and Ladders', reflects the bestselling writer's mercurial personality—as also her wit and worldview

Stylish Raconteur
IT took a well-known publisher, his writer-wife and a hapless correspondent to try fix an errant tape-recorder. The one hour that Gita Mehta, bestselling writer and author of Snakes and Ladders, a collection of essays on modern India slated to hit Indian bookstores in mid-March, had granted

Outlook for an interview was long up. It had been dotted with feeble protests and a willingness to scribble, as the eloquent Mehta talked, words flowing like vintage champagne.

I had underestimated two things. The immediate warmth and quiet willingness to help on the part of Sonny Mehta, high-pro-file publisher, trying to wire my microphone to his stereo system, for one. And the naturally curious Gita for the other, who was trying to wrench the player from her husband, declaring that she had the answer. Snakes and Ladders reflects much of the mercurial personality of the person who wrote it. The essays, an attempt to "explain modern India" to herself, according to the foreword, do more than that. Couched in...

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