Good Life



Raghu Karnad reveals why Naomi Klein’s No Logo was his bible and how reading was imbibed into his lifestyle by his parents. However, choosing writing (due to acne, he says with a grin) over acting makes the son of veteran theatre virtuoso Girish, just like his dad, in opting for the road less travelled.


What are your views on literary festivals, especially the Zee Jaipur Literary Festival?

I’m just back from a festival in New York City, and looking at JLF with fresh admiration—at the glamorous production that’s open to anyone, from any background, and at how generously it treats writers. Also, how respectfully it treats readers and guests. That seems to have set the mould for other Indian festivals, on smaller scales, which is great. You know, I worry about ‘booksing’, which is celebrating the idea of books in ways that doesn’t involve actual reading. But if we’re going to celebrate anything, collectively, in this country, I’ll take words and good sentences and smart ideas over religious beliefs any day.

You are a journalist-turned-author. When did you realise that writing was your calling?

Like a lot of my generation, I think I began writing because of the internet. That’s the first place I remember writing very much—on forums, chats, personal websites and the early blog sites. It wasn’t impressive stuff, but I was a pretty earnest, emo teenager; anything I wrote was written with a lot of feeling. It was a form of practice, before I knew I was practising.


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