Author by the minute: Rahul Srivastava

What is your writing desk/space like?
I like to keep my desk uncluttered and clean, including my desktop screen which usually has just one or two folders there. But work space is more than writing space. Work involves daydreaming, doing my work with cities and exploring the world generally. This happens at many places. Besides fiction, I also co-write non-fiction and that happens over a series of email exchanges mostly for our
blog, Airoots.

What went behind choosing it -- the location, objects you need around you to write, and so on.
When I am writing I just need solitude, silence and good ventilation in the day and friends to hang out with in the evening with. I don’t have too many objects on my desk. After a bout of writing I need to get my imagination cluttered and invaded by the world gain.

Which book are you reading at the moment, and what do you think about it?
I am reading a book on the railways in India and the impact they made on the nation at large. Tracking Modernity: India’s Railway and the Culture of Mobility by Marian Aguiar. I am enjoying reading it for its content more than its style.

Is there a book/author you keep going back to? Why?
I really enjoy a wide variety of books and authors. There is no one book or author I go back to in particular.

Has any character in any book you may have read, or some traits, which come close to who you are?
Unfortunately or fortunately I am quite original as a human being, not so sure about my mind or capabilities though!

Could you list a few books which are related to your decision of being a writer?
I loved reading Amitav Ghosh’s Calcutta Chromosome, Umberto Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum, the writings of Ivan Illich, Susannah Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrel, Phillip Pullman’s His Materials Trilogy, Tintin and Asterix comics, sci-fi films from Hollywood, history books by Eric Hobsbawm, writings of Verrier Elwin on tribal India, Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn -- nothing special. Really what most middle-class Indians have grown up on.
(As told to Kareena N Gianani) 

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