‘One forgets that love takes hard work to succeed’

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Photo: S Radhakrishna
Photo: S Radhakrishna

What is the central idea that informs your work?
I suppose the person that I am. Many things have gone into the making of that: the family I have been raised in, places that I have lived in, people I have encountered along the way, books I have read, music that I have heard and films that I have seen. The life I have lived, in brief.

How well do you identify with Kaberi, the protagonist in your book Rebirth?
As much as I identify with the difficulties women encounter in this very complex world we live in today. On a personal level, while Kaberi and I come from the same place and share a few interests, our paths and lives are very different.

What is your happiest memory of Assam?
Being with family and friends will always stand out as being the highlight of the time spent in Assam. Another overwhelming memory is that of the Brahmaputra river. Wherever I go, I carry with me its images, its changing moods in the course of the day, the more dramatic changes wrought by the seasons.

What role do Guwahati and Bengaluru play in your writing?
A strong sense of place informs my writing. My first book, Next Door, is based largely in Assam while in Rebirth, I move between Assam and my adopted city of Bengaluru. The physical landscape of a place influences human nature in powerful, ways as do history and culture. I find this interaction between man and place fascinating.

You take on love and marriage?
Love is a many layered wondrous thing: as simple as one chooses it to be and yet as complicated as one makes it. One tends to forget that it takes hard work for it to succeed. Marriage is the culmination of love and not very different from it, except that it requires more patience, endurance and hope.

What was your biggest moment of exhilaration?
As a writer, it was when I held my first book. Personally, it was when I held my son for the first time.

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