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'I'm optimistic about the tiger's future'

Senior IAS official Raghav Chandra speaks about putting forth the issue of tiger and wildlife conservation through his mystery-thriller, titled Scent of a Game. Excerpts from an interview

Q. What made you write this thriller?
A. I have been writing for magazines, journals, newspapers and blogs for some time. But I thought I should also write a novel. I was fascinated by tigers and their power and intensity. It is an amazing creature, just like a peacock. I was mesmerised by it.
Our national animal has been facing trouble due to environmental changes. Human beings’ lust for control over lesser creatures is also to be blamed. I want to talk about the need to conserve and protect the environment. I am optimistic about the tiger’s future. I feel the government is doing a lot. But there needs to be greater awareness.

Author Raghav Chandra
Author Raghav Chandra

Q. Who are your favourite writers?
A. I like EM Forster, William Golding, Fredrick Forsyth, Ken Follet and Jeffrey Archer. I haven’t read too much fiction; I am into non-fiction. I loved Golding’s Lord of the Flies. It is a great book of how we (humans) can degenerate. In my book too, I have shown man’s descent into doom.

Scent of a Game
Scent of a Game, Raghav Chandra, Rupa Publications, Rs 395. Available at leading bookstores.

Q. Why write a thriller; you could have written a non-fiction book as well.
A. A thriller is meant to help disseminate the theme, especially amongst the youth, the stakeholders for the future of the tiger. And it makes for gripping reading as well.

Q. How long did it take to write the novel?
A. It took me two to three years to write this book. The laptop proved to be a boon. I used to wake up early and write between 6 am to 7 am. But it took a toll on other things. I missed out on sports, among other activities. I would come from work and start writing. Sometimes, my family got angry with me, as well.

Q. Any plans to make Scent of a Game into a movie?
A. I have a few ideas. I will wait to see the response from the readers to decide what theme to embark upon next. Most people who read the story commented that it’s ideal to be made into a great film, but a concrete offer is yet to come.

Q. How do you find the Pune audience?
A. It was not just individuals but also families coming in for the book reading. This happens only in a city like Pune which has love for literature.

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