I have always had a soft corner for stories real, or make believe. So after much pondering over and ideating, I announce the launch of Creative Chat series for my website, where I will share experiences of authors meeting other authors, artists, storytellers and creative people. I am SO excited to present author Aditi De’s experience of meeting the stalwart of Indian English writing, RK Narayan in the late 80s to begin my series with (thanks for allowing me to use this, Aditi!).
Aditi De is an author- editor- photographer- traveller- blogger based in Bangalore. Her 11 solo books for adults and children include gems like Multiple City: Multiple City: Writings on Bangalore (2008) and A Twist in the Tale: More Indian Folktales (Puffin India, 2005), Articulations: Voices from Contemporary Indian Visual Art (Rupa, 2004), The Secret of the Rainbow Phoenix (Scholastic, 2013). Find her online on her blog or order her books on Flipkart. Here’s her interview with Mr Narayan.
It was in September 1988 that I had my only face-to-face encounter with Narayan. He was staying at his granddaughter’s residence in Chennai’s Thyagaraja Nagar area, where a room had been made comfortable enough for him to write in whenever he felt the urge.
On a memorable occasion, he was persuaded to take time off to autograph copies of his latest book, A Writer’s Nightmare, at the Landmark bookstore in Nungambakkam. Through a long evening, he peered through his thick lenses, answering even the most obvious questions with good humour, occasionally sharing an impish smile as he tackled the long and winding queue of people seeking autographs at the store.