With his first short story collection, Quarantine, being released recently, Rahul Mehta talks about sexuality, writing and acceptance.
When did you first develop an interest in writing, and specifically creative writing?
I've always been a writer. Even when I was 13 or 14, I was telling people that I was going to be a writer. In ninth grade once, we had to do a research project on a career that we were interested in. When we had to submit our proposals for our projects, I chose “writer”, and my teacher wrote back, “That's not a career. Choose something else.” So I shadowed an advertising executive.
To be fair to my teacher, I don't think she was necessarily trying to discourage me. I think she was just trying to get me to be practical, to save me from a difficult path. Much later, in grad school, one of my professors said a similar thing. She said she always tells her students who want to become writers, “If you can do something else, do it. If you can't: God help you, and welcome.”
Full report here Hindu