P.G. Bhaskar is a Dubai-based private banker.
His first book, Jack Patel’s Dubai Dreams, was published in 2011. He is currently working on two books which he hopes will be available to readers in the next few years.
QDo you have a writing schedule?Well, I have my day job. I have my clients. I have my family. So my writing schedule has to accommodate all this. I would love to be able to sit by a lake for long hours and get “inspired”. But very few of us can enjoy such luxuries. So I have to adjust accordingly. I don’t write at any fixed time. I do try and squeeze in an hour or so a day when I’m working on a book. Most of the time, it works. Laptops are such a boon.
QEver struggled with writer’s block?Not so far, no. But I do worry about it. Occasionally, I have wondered what will happen if after writing my first few books, I run out of ideas. It is, for me, a very scary thought.
QWhat inspires you to write? Do you have a secret trick, or a book/author that helps?No, I have no trick. I wish I had, though. My all-time favourite author is P.G. Wodehouse. I have spent many, many happy hours reading and re-reading his books. My life would have been poorer but for these.
QCoffee/tea/cigarettes — numbers please — while you are writing?I don’t smoke and no, coffee/tea have no connection with my writing. As I said, I don’t write for long hours at a stretch, perhaps this explains why I don’t need any props. If I get some time and my laptop, I don’t need anything else.
QWhich books are you reading at present?Just finished Sam Miller’s Delhi: Adventures in a Megacity and enjoyed it. I have Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s Palace of Illusions lying unread at home. I will probably pick that up next.
QWho are your favourite authors?I have mentioned one already. I have liked individual books of course, but I can’t think of anyone else who has made even half as much of an impact on me. I think, in a sense, I have never grown out of or beyond Wodehouse. Maybe I am still trapped in his joyful paradise, a world of sunshine and innocence where an inherent goodness prevails, a world that may have villains but absolutely no evil.
QWhich book/author should be banned on grounds of bad taste?Well, given my rather limited range of reading, it is unlikely that I will ever come across a book that I feel should be banned.
QWhich is the most under-rated book?Again, I am restricted to the few I have read. Besides, I don’t think I’m really on top of things when it comes to knowing how widely a book has been read or how it has been rated, except for the bestsellers. But yes, from time to time, I have come across books that I had never heard of, but yet enjoyed reading. Extra Virgin by Annie Hawes, Penguins Stopped Play by Harry Thompson and The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner. I also loved Shashi Tharoor’s The Great Indian Novel. If I let honesty take precedence over modesty, I should also include my debut novel here.
QWhich are your favourite children’s books?If one can describe J.K. Rowling as a children’s author, I find her books captivating. As a child, I grew up on all the usual stuff that were available in India those days… Enid Blyton, Richmal Crompton, the Hardy Boys series… Now I have a 14-year-old son and I find it most difficult to read the kind of books he seems to relish. In fact, the only reason I started reading Harry Potter was to make sure it was appropriate for him. That I got hooked on to it is another matter. I still like comics, though.
QWhich classics do you want to read?Somewhat shamefacedly, I must confess I am not much of a classics guy, though I would have liked to be. I’m afraid these questions are bringing out all my “weaknesses”, one by one :)