Friday, May 22, 2009

Shilpa Agarwal

From Haunting Bombay author Shilpa Agarwal's interview by Uttara Choudhury:

Is the supernatural in your book a metaphor for the dispossessed?

Yes, absolutely. I have always been intrigued by the idea of utterance -- who is empowered to speak and who is not -- within a family, a community or a nation. What would happen, I wondered, if we could hear the voice of the child who drowned in Haunting Bombay or the child's ayah who was banished after she was blamed for the death? Their versions of the truth haunted me, and my story took a supernatural turn.

While writing the ghost story did you get spooked?

Absolutely! It's funny, because I have always been afraid of ghost stories. I never really realised I was writing one when I started. I have two little girls, so I used to wake up at dawn -- 4.30am was the quiet part of the day where I wasn't 'mommy' but just me, the writer. I would be in my office typing away, and I would light this candle near my computer. Sometimes, I would be tapping away and I would glance up at the candle wondering: is it flickering weirdly? I would then do this shoulder-check -- turn my head around gingerly.
Read the complete interview.

Visit Shilpa Agarwal's website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue