Sunday, March 14, 2010

‘The levels of garbage have gone up’

Author Upamanyu Chatterjee, a bureaucrat based in Delhi now, rarely concedes to interviews, he emerges from his self-imposed solitude in the rare occasions of book launches (the release of his newest book Way to Go in Bangalore yesterday propelled a tete-e-tete).

In fact, opportunities of meeting people, watching television, a walk in the park and such other pursuits that fill up ordinary lives pass him by effortlessly. A frown, a tired shrug and a lazy wave of the hand are his ready tools of expression.

And so he walks into the foyer of a prominent hotel in south Mumbai, where he will rest till the book launch, spend the night, only to zip off back home to Delhi in the evening. The traffic from the airport to south Mumbai was rough. Chatterjee makes a dash for his room and emerges in the foyer in less than five minutes. “It’s a dreadful room, there’s not much there,” he says waving both his hands as if to suggest want of space. “And now I must eat something. I am very hungry,” he says sparing a few minutes for pictures.

The pretty hostess at the very popular cafeteria of the hotel takes Chatterjee’s question – “is this the coffee shop” literally and declines coffee. It’s lunchtime, you see. “No, I need to eat; is this the coffee shop that might serve me some lunch?” he asks softly, arms akimbo. “Sure sir, but no coffee,” she attempts to elucidate. We thought it wise at this moment to cut through the building strain and pointed to the patisserie, where he soon settles down with a quiche and a wrap; an eyebrow decidedly arched as he knifes the food.

Full report here Bangalore Mirror

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