Interview: Sudeep Chakravarti

Goa-based Sudeep Chakravarti worked in mainstream media for nearly 25 years before he took a sabbatical in 2004 to write books. He has written three novels — Tin Fish, The Avenue of Kings, Once Upon a Time in Aparanta — and  two works of  narrative non-fiction —  Red Sun: Travels in Naxalite Country and Highway 39: Journeys Through a Fractured Land.

  • Q  Describe your favourite writing space.

    I live in an old house in a quiet Goan village. My home is my refuge, where I do most of my writing. I love to work in the verandah at the back of the house, surrounded by green. If it is too warm — or dark — then it is at my dining table: quite large, round, of dark wood and immensely comforting. Away from this, I write in any situation if I have to — or need to: trains, planes, at airports, in scruffy hotel rooms, even by candlelight if the power is out.
  • Q  Do you have a writing schedule?

    When I’m home, I prefer to write in the morning. When I’m fully “into” a book, I’m usually up by 5 am and work through the morning, with a few short breaks for breakfast, mail, a chore. A light lunch, a treasured nap, and then I write till about seven in the evening. I practise martial arts and a little yoga on some days; these keep me focused. This is disrupted when I travel. Then I go with the flow.