"Over time, I think I've formed a bond with India; though it's not for me to say, some of my best writings have come from India," says Ian Jack, former editor of an international literary magazine and Indian correspondent of another journal.
And he has a lot to share about Bangalore. Like a typical old-time Bangalorean, he too is not too happy about what the city has become. "My former father in-law (he's still alive - I married twice) lived in Indiranagar and in Whitefield, so I've spent a lot of time in Bangalore. Now, the city seems stretched and I wouldn't like to live here. The whole 'I can retire and come here to live' feeling is gone," he declares, adding that though landmarks that he's familiar with, like Koshy's, might still exist, 'they probably don't evoke the same feeling in people as they did earlier'.
Talking of his most recent visit to the city during the Bangalore Literature Festival, Jack says, "Here I am in the middle of Electronics City - for whatever reason they come up with such a name - in a posh American style room in a five star hotel, and all I see is buildings. That's not a very heartening sight. But then, I started meeting people, some of them whom I already knew, and some new people and I forgot about it."
Jack's latest book 'Mofussil Junction' was launched recently in the city and is based on 'pieces' about India, dating from 1977 to last year. The author shares that it is the 19th century history and jute manufacturing in India that particularly fascinate him. "I'm more comfortable writing about the past than the present - definitely more comfortable than writing about the future," he says, adding that a lot of his writing, including the book 'The Country Formerly Known as Great Britain', is elegaic.