ĎIím a Writer without Regretsí


I just started banging out stories, articles for magazines, newspapers. We didn't have many publishers then of general books or fiction.

You even wrote Hollywood gossip once.

I did for The Leader of Allahabad, a paper long gone. I was always interested in films, so I would gather information on pictures that were being made, on the activities of the actors and actresses in theatre and films. So I wrote this little column for The Leader. Though I sent it from Dehradun, they would say, 'from our Hollywood correspondent'.

Talking of Hollywood and popular culture, I bet people have asked you about your ≠relation with James Bond, the other famous Bond.

I did have an uncle called James Bond. He was a dentist, not a secret agent. His grave is here in the cemetery. I wrote an epitaph for him: "A stranger approached this spot with gravity, James Bond is filling his last cavity."

I bet your uncle had a sense of humour. You might have to do some answering.

I hope he had. I never met this uncle but had heard about him. I have brought in uncles and aunts to stories whenever I have run out of ideas. When I run out of relatives, I invent ghosts.

Well, we stand outside St Paul's church, the oldest anywhere.

It was built in 1840 or so.

You are not a particularly religious person. You are not going to be found in a place of worship often.

Very rarely, and more out of interest in the historical importance of a church or some place of worship. It's not that I am irreligious. I would rather look for god in a forest or on a hillside.

Talk about some of your discoveries when you thought you found god looking at hills and forests.

... contd.

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