Mumbai Halloween Posse

Posin' not posers, trick-o-treaters for life! Copper, Pirate, Scoundrel... Jolly Rancher. No candy? Step back!         ##

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The Writer Is…

…the woman at the stove adding cups of this and teaspoons of that to the soup while strange faces emerge in the place where her recipe should be recalled… …the man at the sink washing egg-yolk from the breakfast plates while the doctor, lawyer, hero, villain, sidekick, loser introduce their problems but the egg won’t … Continue reading The Writer Is…

Everyday Life

The novelist is exhausted. Whole worlds suggest themselves to her but that is all. The worlds do not appear. They do not come ready-made. They do not exist. They require focus and time and attention. The worlds must be pulled forth. Forged. The novelist is exhausted. Characters whisper in his ear and run through caverns … Continue reading Everyday Life

Cricket

Travels around India don’t have to include the Taj Mahal, the Gateway of India, or a dip in the Ganges to be special. Our four-day journey to Karnataka state included stops at Chamundi Hills, the ancestral village for which my father-in-law takes his name—Kuppahalli, and half a click from where we stayed, the Mysore Palace. … Continue reading Cricket

Peace Corps, the Musical

Five years ago, I flirted with writing a musical based on ‘the generic Peace Corps experience.’ I tabled the idea quickly. The unique nature of volunteer service set abundant hurdles. Peace Corps Africa and Peace Corps Latin America are different beasts. The organization’s six decades presented another problem. We’d moved from the era of ‘Drop … Continue reading Peace Corps, the Musical

Mumbai Standstill

Who owns this day? This town? Nobody. The rains come across the bay, halt awhile, move along. They leave behind a soaked humanity, anonymous. The brightest among us are alien. Forbidding.         ##  

Writing for Children

HarperCollins India, Avid Learning, and Mumbai children's book promoter Lubaina Tyebji Bandukwala put together an informative workshop on writing children's literature this weekend. As I begin the search for a home to publish my own middle grade novels, I thought I'd confirm my take on the genre with people who actually know what they're talking about. A … Continue reading Writing for Children

The Elephants’ Thunder

Every night I hear the drums. Out there, on the fairgrounds in the dark, the big drums throb and the high snares crackle. Two weeks from now Ganesh will march the streets, Gunpatti’s thunderous procession to the sea shaking the city’s windows and doors. Hordes will carry idols of the elephant deity in waves across … Continue reading The Elephants’ Thunder

What We Talk About When We Talk About Writing

Writers write. This simple premise covers everything I need to know about our craft. The axiom provides all the cover I need to shut out the world and pretend I fulfill my purpose merely by sitting down with a few trusty instruments. A Parker Jotter. A Moleskine Cahier. A keyboard, perhaps. But the platitude, it … Continue reading What We Talk About When We Talk About Writing

Always

Puzzled that I’d spend my time doing this, people will ask, ‘How long have you been writing?’ Part accusation, part sincere inquiry, it deserves consideration. The truest answer I have—and it’s not a wise guy answer—is always. I say ‘truest’ because of the stages leading up to my present output: two published novels; two mid-grade … Continue reading Always