Writer’sBlock

Piyush Jha grew up in Mumbai. After a career in advertising management he switched tracks to direct commercials for some of the country’s biggest brands. His 30-second cinematic stories became feature films (Chalo America, King of Bollywood, Sikandar), but the itch to tell stories didn’t go. This resulted in Mumbaistan: 3 Explosive Crime Thrillers, published by Rupa recently.

  • QDescribe your favourite writing space.

    The dining table in my living room.
  • QDo you have a writing schedule?

    When I am working on a book, it’s 2-6 pm every day.
  • QEver struggled with writer’s block?

    Sometimes. But have always managed to overcome it eventually.
  • QWhat inspires you to write? Do you have a secret trick, or a book/author that helps?

    I read the newspapers. I meet people and I remember most of my experiences. These three things work together inside my head as the springboard for my thoughts.
  • QCoffee/tea/cigarettes — numbers please — while you are writing?

    No cigarettes — I don’t smoke. Approximately four large mugs of tea and two mugs of coffee daily, whether I’m writing or not.
  • QWhich books are you reading at present?

    The Thomas Berryman Number, James Patterson’s first book — it’s a rare find nowadays.
  • QWho are your favourite authors?

    Frederick Forsyth, Jeffrey Archer, Robert Ludlum, Lee Child.
  • QWhich book/author should be banned on grounds of bad taste?

    None. All tastes are welcome. They spice up our lives.
  • QWhich is the most under-rated book?

    The Calcutta Chromosome by Amitav Ghosh.
  • QWhich are your favourite children’s books?

    The William series by Richmal Crompton.

India

The collective moral might and high-mindedness of the Communist parties of India miserably failed the country in the critical battle of 2014. Their numbers in Parliament dropped drastically and their presence as an ideological force is dwindling day by day.

Here is something for Dinanath Batra to chew on. While he leads the charge against cakes and candles on birthdays, all things Western, including English language education, millions of Chinese college students take the country’s many standardised English tests every year, hoping to embellish their resumes with language certificates.