Vikram Seth interacted with the students on the sixth day of the Sharjah International Book Fair. The author of A Suitable Boy shared his journey as a writer and how normal a human he was, by sharing his interest in calligraphy and using Candy Crush as an aid to procrastinate his work.
Narrating the genesis of his magnum opus, which started with two women talking to each other, he explained how one could roll out a story from a conversation as long as fifteen minutes. The inspiration that he acquired always differed as he collected it from the different perspectives of the incidents he witnessed, he said to the students.
The author enumerated on the importance of understanding different cultures and the cultural diversity that our nation offered. He affirmed how writers were also the citizens of a country with the freedom to express their opinions. When asked about whether the advent of the recent technologies will affect writing, he said that writing will not be affected by the new tides of technologies, but he expressed his concern about the social media though it has triggered reading among the young.
“To choose to be a writer, it is a lonely job. But you have to keep going,” he added, inspiring the budding writers who attended the session. “You can write something and it may go nowhere. But don’t write something according to what others want. Don’t try to please anyone. The only thing is make sure that you never feel ashamed of what you write when you look in the mirror,” he added.
He wrapped up the session by reading aloud his poem Fire from Rivered Earth that had the packed auditorium roar back ‘Fire Fire! Hot! Hot! I am burning with Desire’.”
The author will hold another session open to the public on November 8, 2019 at 7.30 pm at the Sharjah International Book Fair.