Friday, April 1, 2011

Just Books and Cricket

I enjoy reading interviews and interviews of writers have been a long-time favorite. The book I am reading currently is a compilation of interviews of 30 ‘famous’ writers interviewed by Sunil Shetty. Sunil hosts an interview show on NDTV and these are a collection of interviews he has done since the inception of the show in 2005. In his foreword, he writes in what circumstances the idea of the show had come about.

The program is aired on NDTV Profit, a sub-section of NDTV which features stock market and business news. As the stock market closes on Fridays for the weekend, a substantive show had to be conceived to fill the vacuum. In a meeting, many ideas were tossed around and the one most frowned up was interview of writers.

Sunil recalls the idea was tossed up by Pronoy Roy’s wife, who is an inveterate reader, and the reason why people were skeptical about it was that writers, being recluses, don’t make great TV personalities. They are generally reluctant to talk about their work. Although some writers refused to be interviewed on TV, majority obliged and ‘Just Books’ became a success.

The book presents a short profile of writes followed their interviews. The interviews are not free flowing but in question and answer format. Some interviews are compilation of two, three interactions with the writers held at different locations and sometimes by different people.

The reason why I like writers’ interviews is that they open a window to the world of books, the books that had an impact on them, the writers they read etc. Another reason is their personalities and distinct style of putting things. Salman Rshdie is flamboyant; William Dalrymple garrulous; Amitava Ghosh matter of fact; Khushwant Singh simple and unpretentious.

Many times these interviews have led me to books and writers that I wouldn’t otherwise know.

                                                World Cup Finale

On Wednesday, for the first time in my last seven years of stay away from home, I regretted not having a TV, thanks to the India Pakistan World Cup semi final at Mohali. I watched the match at office. It was like a virtual day-off for people at work. They remained glued to the TV screens, sometimes moving away to attend to their professional duties only to rush back before TV again. They cheered every wicket taken, run saved or scored by India. Sometimes I also found myself erupting in excitement. I felt sports can make one so sadistic, taking pleasure at some else’s defeat. But tomorrow I am going to do that again, when India will look to repeat 1983 and Srilanka, 1996.


Being Pramoda... said...

Bring TV first :)LoL..

I heard abt the TV show of sunil shetty.. nice choice..

It inspired when we read the interviews of ppl who are successful..:)

We enjoyed the match alot :)

COngrats team India..:)

indrablog said...

Hi Pramoda,
Your are right, I think it's time to get a TV. We too saw and enjoyed the match. Take care.

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