January 22, 2009 12:59:10 am
Tarun Tejpal stood in the hall way of the lobby of the British Council on Monday night and welcomed each and every guest personally with a warm hug or a handshake. At the launch of his much-awaited second novel,The Story of my Assassins (HarperCollins,Rs 495),the editor-in-chief of Tehelka was as much a journalist as he was a novelist. In conversation with Hari Kunzru ( in picture,left,with Tejpal) who introduced him,Tejpal spoke of how the book came about. In 2003,after the scam,my colleague Aniruddha Bahal and I were informed of the fact that somebody had taken out a contract in Pakistan to kill us both,hoping to create a nationwide outrage that could have been effective in toppling the then-BJP government, recounted Tejpal. But fact soon metamorphosed into fiction,and he found himself making time at odd hours,in between meetings,at airport lounges,to write a book that promises to change the way we look at the world around us. His protagonist is cold,calculative,an antihero,but Tejpal feels that there is much cause for anger in the country today. The power and authority in this country belong to a select few,and as journalists and writers,we too are a part of the elite and hence in a position to subvert authority. There is an urgent need to extend that circle of influence,and resources to a wider range of Indians, said Tejpal. India is not shining. Mind it.
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