When I’m writing, I don’t read anyone else. And when I’m composing I won’t listen to anyone else either. I feel it may compromise me.

Radha Thomas has spent her life obsessing… about jazz. Writing. Men. Getting the most out of a toothpaste tube. Her son. She thought she was alone. But thanks to Facebook, she isn’t. She is surrounded by a sea of like-minded sociopaths and that makes her feel very secure. Kidding, of course. She is a jazz singer and songwriter. Her first novel, Men on My Mind, the first in a trilogy, was published in December 2012.

  • QDescribe your favourite writing space.

    Anywhere, really. On the couch, at the dining table, at work — basically any noisy place, as long as people don’t ask me too many questions as I am trying to concentrate.
  • QDo you have a writing schedule?

    Yes. Until it’s done. As I said, I’m a bit obsessive, so I write till I am fresh out of anything to say. Then I wait for inspiration to kick in so that I can start again. I don’t like to keep things pending, hanging, so my schedule is dictated by deadlines.
  • QEver struggled with writer’s block?

    All the time. I try not to panic and it usually passes. But I’m always terrified that it won’t.
  • QWhat inspires you to write? Do you have a secret trick, or a book/author that helps?

    A snatch of conversation, a thought, a phrase, and lyrics — they help me get started. I note them down faithfully, hoping these “inspirations” are momentous revelations, but most often I toss it all out. When I sit down to write, it all flows in a torrent. When I’m writing, I don’t read anyone else. And when I’m composing I won’t listen to anyone else either. I feel it may compromise me.
  • QCoffee/tea/cigarettes — numbers please — while you are writing?

    Club soda. No coffee. No cigarettes. No food. It’s hard to type with sticky fingers.
  • QWhich books are you reading at present?

    Madeleine Albright’s Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948. I’ve just begun it, but it promises to be fascinating. I’ve had it on my Kindle for a few months, but I couldn’t get to it because I was busy. She was brought up without knowing she was Jewish.
  • QWho are your favourite authors?

    P.J. O’Rourke, William Safire, P.G. Wodehouse.
  • QWhich book/author should be banned on grounds of bad taste?

    I really couldn’t say. I don’t think it’s fair to comment on something so subjective. People in glass houses and all…
  • QWhich is the most under-rated book?

    Hmmm. I don’t know if it counts, but I believe the thesaurus? Of course, it’s online now but every English-speaking human being ought to own/use one.
  • QWhich are your favourite children’s books?

    I loved reading Enid Blyton as a child... every single series I could get my hands on.

When the first Asian Games began on March 4, 1951, it was a modest affair. Over eight days, 400-odd athletes from 11 countries took part in six disciplines, which included athletics, swimming and water polo, cycling, weightlifting, football and basketball. In contrast, the ongoing Incheon Games has 13,000 athletes taking part in 36 sports, including Asian sports such as kabaddi and sepak takraw, 12 more than the Olympic Games.

Between 2 pm on October 1 and 10.30 am on October 2, Central government offices in New Delhi remained closed. Why? Because Prime Minister Narendra Modi, concerned about widespread filth in India, is “launching” the nation-wide “Swachchh Bharat” (Clean India) campaign today.