How do you feel about the Commonwealth prize?
It's like sitting under a tree for a rest and having a spectacular mango drop into your lap. Chances of such a happening are small...but when it happens, it's very delicious.
Specially if you stump Arundhati Roy to it?
Literature isn't a horse-race. To believe that you'd not only have to be fatally full of hubris, but also dim-witted. And Mr and Mrs Chandra didn't raise any dumb children.
Naipaul recently said India will see more and more writers now.
Yes, absolutely. We've reached a period of intense ferment—a rising economy; a booming publishing industry; intense media attention. Also, the contradictions of culture and politics—mad India will hurl us into poetry. Writers will emerge out of this.
Your book is a considerable departure from your debut novel. Why?
I wanted to stretch new muscles. It's plain boring to do the same thing all the time.
But why Bombay? Don't you think it's been done to death?
Do I sense a little Northie,...