‘Everyone is free to write what they believe in’

Calling himself a hopeless romantic, Sandeep Narayan says Wuthering Heights had an impact on him when he was young and remains his favourite to this day

Published: 02nd May 2018 01:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th May 2018 10:11 AM   |  A+A-

Sandeep Naraynan

By Express News Service

BENGALURU:Sandeep Narayanan is a writer,dreamer, and an info junkie. His work has appeared in an anthology called Voices from the Attic and also The Bombay Review. Sandeep is a full time dad to three cats and a dog in Bengaluru. Here's an excerpt of the conversation CE had with him:

Your favourite book of all time and why? Could you quote a passage?

I think it would be Wuthering Heights because I read it when I was quite young, it made an impact on me and appealed to the hopeless romantic that I am.

My favourite quote from the book would be “He's more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.” 

Your favourite fictional character and why?

I think I have one for every mood – Florentino from Love in the Time of Cholera, Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights, Kunta Kinte from Roots. Pip from Great Expectations, Salim Sinai from Midnight’s children. The list goes on.

Few lines you got from a book, which you would never forget?

I love this book called Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes and there is this unforgettable passage which says, “How often do we tell our own life story? How often do we adjust, embellish, make sly cuts? And the longer life goes on, the fewer are those around to challenge or account, to remind us that our life is not our life, merely the story we have told about our life. Told to others, but—mainly—to ourselves.” 

What are the five top books released in 2017, according to you?

Not in any particular order :

Exit West – Moshin Hamid

If I had to tell it again – Gayathri Prabhu

Pachinko – Min Jin Lee

Where India Goes: Abandoned Toilets, Stunted Development and the Costs of Caste -Diane Coffey and Dean Spears 

The Only Story – Julian Barnes

And because I can’t stop at 5 – The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck - Mark Manson

One book you would want a first edition of and why?

I would love to own the first edition of the English Translation of The Arabian Nights. I had seen one somewhere and it had some exquisite drawings along with the story and well, which book lover doesn’t love the smell of old musty books

Which author would you like to have tea with and what would you talk about?

I would love to sit with Manu Joseph and discuss some politics.

One advice you would give to your favourite author, and one you would give to terrible writers.

I would say to all my favourite authors – Please keep writing because I love it.

And to all the terrible ones – Please keep writing because I am sure someone somewhere loves it.

Which books would you take with you on a solo holiday?

I would want to take my entire bookshelf, I would never be able to choose

Your one guilty-pleasure read?

Crime thrillers – preferably pulp

One fictional character you go to when you need a friend?

That would be Pip from Great Expectations, I think Pip gets me.

What is one quality of a book you wish people would have?

They don’t talk back.

One book you wish was never written, and why?

I believe every book has a place in this world and everyone is free to write what they believe in. I am a fierce advocate of free speech and like Volatire said “I wholly disapprove of what you say and will defend to the death your right to say it.”

What is one thing you cannot tolerate when you are reading?

I zone out while I am reading so nothing really bothers me unless it is my cats or dog who decides to sit in front of my book at that very moment.

Your favourite reading nook?

Anywhere, a good book is all I need.

Do you remember to keep bookmarks?

Oh yeah, absolutely. No Dog ears on my books.


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