October 19, 2021

KITAAB

Connecting Asian writers with global readers

The Lounge Chair Interview: 10 Questions with Jerry Pinto

2 min read

Let’s get down to brass tacks. Why do you write?

Because I cannot dance like Nureyev, paint like Mehlli Gobhai, sing like T M Krishna but I can sometimes write from somewhere inside me that is me.

Tell us about your most recent book or writing project. What were you trying to say or achieve with it?

I have just this minute finished translating Jevha Mi Jaat Chorli by Baburao Bagul, from the Marathi. I hope to build another small linguistic bridge with my translation which is called When I Concealed My Caste and Other Stories.

Describe your writing aesthetic.

I just wish there were something aesthetic about it.

Who are your favorite authors?

I am a different person at different times and each of these persons has a different favourite author. There is a Jerry who loves Agatha Christie and there is a Jerry who loves Vladimir Nabokov; there is a Jerry who needs a fix of Adil Jussawalla’s poetry and there is a Jerry who can mainline Moby Dick. There is the Jerry who would have loved to meet Charles Schulz and the Pinto who thinks Art Spiegelman is the mouse’s whiskers because the cats were Nazis. This is not a question that this Jerry, the one writing to you now, feels he ought to answer for there will be so many others shouting him down minutes later. (They’ve begun. Yes, P G Wodehouse. Yes, Coetze. Yes, Lessing. Yes, Pamuk. Yes, Rushdie. Yes, Ghosh. Of course, Kolatkar and Ezekiel. And Ranjit Hoskote and Arundhathi Subramaniam. Then there’s Sei Shonagon and Basho. Not to forget Wyslava Szymborska and Hergé. And the guy who wrote the Sermon on the Mount and the Lord’s Prayer? How’s that for concision?

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