The Hindu Lit for Life 2018

Retirement isn’t an option for author Shobhaa De whose latest book is on being 70

‘The option to not say these things doesn’t exist for me.’   | Photo Credit: R. Ragu

“If you can’t be candid about something in your writing, don’t even go there,” said acclaimed author Shobhaa De in the session titled Seventy And To Hell With It held on the second day of the The Hindu Lit for Life. Fitting that she says this, considering that her latest book is on being 70 and everything that goes with it. In conversation with Vidya Singh, she was wearing a bright purple jacket, with “Established in 1948” embroidered on the back — a present from her daughter — she was as unabashed about her life as she is on Twitter.

On writing her book the way she wanted to, De said, “It might be difficult to imagine me getting bullied, but that’s what my editors and publishers do. It was not easy to convince them, but this book came out the way I wanted it to because I trusted my gut.” In the process of writing it, she discovered how she has turned not just into her mother, but also her grandmother. “Of course, she didn’t have a tattoo on her right arm, or tango with a ponytailed stranger in Spain. But there are similarities,” she added with a laugh.

Singh asked De what gives her courage to say the things she says, and De replied, “The option to not say these things doesn’t exist for me. It would be dishonest to express an opinion you cannot own or acknowledge.”

On reading her earlier works, De said, “It’s best to leave old books, like old lovers, behind.” And as for retirement, “As long as your curiosity is alive, there is no reason to retire. It isn’t an option for me: I hope that when my time comes, I will go with a pen in my hand.”

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Printable version | Jun 18, 2021 10:27:15 PM |

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