Calcuttaweb: City of Calcutta has appeared in different times in your writings, as in “The Shadow Lines” and of course in “The Calcutta Chromosome”. Do you have plan to write more stories based on Calcutta in this century?
Ans. I spend a lot of time in Calcutta each year, so it is only natural that the city should figure prominently in my writing.
Calcuttaweb: Do you visit Calcutta these days?
Ans. Yes, I spend several months in Calcutta every year. I love the city and I really enjoy spending time there. It is a wonderful place.
Calcuttaweb: What is the effect of Bengali literature on you?
Ans. My work has been very deeply influenced by Bengali literature. Anyone who reads ‘The Calcutta Chromosome’ will see immediately the influence of Tagore’s ‘Kshudhita Pashaan’.
Calcuttaweb: “The Calcutta Chromosome” is being filmed by Italian director Salvatores . How did this happen and when is the film scheduled to be released ?
Ans. Gabriele Salvatores has the film rights for the next three years. He has announced that this is his next project but I don’t know when he plans to start shooting.
Calcuttaweb: You wrote a book – “Countdown” – concerning the nuclear situation in India and Pakistan. What do you think India is going to be 25 years from now – standard of living, education, art etc. ?
Ans. I think India’s development problems are growing more and more serious every year. It is hard to predict exactly what lies ahead. Although our hi-tech industries are gaining prominence it is clear that so far as overall development is concerned our position is declining steadily in a global sense.
Calcuttaweb: Which Indian personality has impressed you the most and why ?
Ans. Satyajit Ray – he was an amazing man, not just as an artist but also as a human being.
Calcuttaweb: Do you follow contemporary Bengali/Indian literary works, arts, cinema ?
Ans. Yes, but not as closely as I would like.
Calcuttaweb: Do you think culturally and morally the Bengalis are declining or it is a part of a overall decline ?
Ans. I suspect that when you say ‘the Bengalis’ you’re actually referring only to one segment of the Bengali-speaking world. This is perhaps the real problem. It is true that ‘bhadralok’ West Bengalis often see themselves as being in some sort of decline. But I don’t think Bangladeshis see themselves in this way at all.
Calcuttaweb: Do you like music ? What kind of music you like? Do you listen to any Bengali music ?
Ans. I love Hindusthani classical music. My favourite Bengali musical forms are Shyama-sangeet, tappa, Baul and Bhatiali.
Calcuttaweb: What do you think a writer’s role/duty is in modern society ?
Ans. Every writer is an individual and every writer has a right to define their own role.