07 May, 2021

'You Can Talk Good Ideas Out Of Existence'

The 'kind but fairly reticent' writer opened up a bit at the suggestion that his mother/muse/mentor ex-Justice Leila Seth be included, making it a three-way conversation...

Jitender Gupta
'You Can Talk Good Ideas Out Of Existence'

For someone who’s written a 1,368-pager on his family and followed it up with another 503 pages of a family memoir, Two Lives, of his great-uncle and his German wife, Vikram Seth is fierce in defending his family’s privacy. There are two sacred cows in his life, we discover very soon after arriving at his parents’ home for one of the back-to-back interviews his publisher has set up on his first day back from London for a whirlwind book tour of five metros. The first is Family Time, and there will be no poaching on it, as he informs us with unusual curtness when we tentatively ask for a photo shoot at a family dinner later that evening. The other, of course, is Creative Time. With just one of the innumerable interviews of the next two days ending as we meet, Vikram is already a little snappish under the pressure, leaving his Mama, the serene ex-Justice Leila Seth, to hold fort with tea, lemonade and her calm grace, while Vikram stalks off into her bedroom, declaring: "I need a five minutes’ break before the next interview." He returns exactly on time, only his...

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