Writer’sBlock

Q. Which is the most erotic book you have read? A. I attempted Fifty Shades of Grey but it was ridiculous and boring and I just did not get it.

Saba Naqvi is a New Delhi-based journalist and author. Her first book, In Good Faith: A Journey In Search of An Unknown India, makes a case for pluralism in India through examples of communities that live in perfect communal harmony.

  • QDescribe your favourite writing space.

    My lap and my laptop. Anywhere in the house where I get some peace and privacy.
  • QDo you have a writing schedule?

    Ideally, in the morning. Get up, have tea, some light yoga and then hammer away.
  • QEver struggled with writer’s block?

    I have the discipline of a trained journalist so I can write on demand. But I imagine it would be harder when attempting fiction and using imagination. That is different from working with facts.
  • QWhat inspires you to write? Do you have a secret trick, or a book/author that helps?

    No secret trick. Mostly it’s how I feel about some issues that have driven me so far. That’s important for me to whip up the passion to write.
  • QCoffee/tea/cigarettes — numbers please — while you are writing?

    Lots of tea and coffee.
  • QWhich books are you reading at present?

    Philip Kerr’s Prague Fatale. Also, William Dalrymple’s Return of a King.
  • QWho are your favourite authors?

    Leo Tolstoy, Jane Austen, Agatha Christie.
  • QWhich book/author should be banned on grounds of bad taste?

    Nothing should be banned unless it incites violence or perversion.
  • QWhich is the most under-rated book?

    The World According to Garp by John Irving.
  • QWhich are your favourite children’s books?

    Alice in Wonderland is a work of genius for both adults and kids. The Harry Potter books are my daughter’s favourites and I too enjoy them. Also, Roald Dahl is quite masterful.

If elections come, can conspiracy theories be far behind? With bypolls around the corner, Uttar Pradesh is abuzz with talk of a sinister plot of young Hindu women being tricked into marriage by Muslim men, and made to convert to Islam. Over the past week there has been a flood of reports about “love jihad”.

Peace is at the best of times a tenuous proposition in relation to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Even as the world hopes the new indefinite ceasefire that has brought 50 days of bloodshed to an end will last, the real causes of the conflict have been put to the side, rather than resolved.