India Uncut

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Friday, June 24, 2005

Banking on passion

Ashok Banker, in an interview with Sonia Faleiro, says:
I don’t think I’m a very talented writer, but I have passion. What I lack in stylistic or linguistic dexterity, and sheer artistry, I make up for with fecundity, fire, and feel.
He's right. That isn't a boast or false modesty, but honesty, a rare quality when the most common failing of our species is self-delusion.

I must confess here that I am not entirely a fan of Banker's writing. I haven't read his recent series, and I read "Vertigo" and "Byculla Boys" years ago. The quality that struck me most about "Vertigo" was passion. It was honest and in-your-face writing, devoid of pretence, with no attempted literary flourishes or suchlike. The book didn't say, as so many Indian novels in English do, "I write so well, look at me." It said: "This is the story I have to tell. Listen."

Banker's passion for telling the story and nothing else also manifested himself in the way he dealt with the world, and his disdain for the press and the trappings of being a writer. He speaks about all that in the interview with Faleiro, so go read that to get more of a feel for what the man is about.
amit varma, 11:30 AM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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