In conversation with author Kashinath Singh

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Puja Bhattacharjee | March 7, 2015




Kashinath Singh, a distinguished scholar and writer, is regarded as one of the best chroniclers of the city of Varanasi. Only a few people know the city as well as he does. Born in a village 40 km from the city, he came to Varanasi for his higher secondary education. Since then he has lived in the city – initially as a student at the Banaras Hindu University, which is also where he taught till his retirement as the head of the Hindi department in 1997. His most significant work, Kashi ka Assi which gives an insider’s view of the city has been dramatised many times and is also being adapted into a movie. He received Sahitya Akademi Award for his novel Rehan Par Raggu in 2011.


The book I am reading now: Kissago by Mario Vargas Llosa

If I was not a writer: I would have been either a flute player or a folk singer

My biggest strength: My naivety (murkhta, nischalta)

My biggest weakness: Easily believing in people

My favourite writer: Leo Tolstoy

The person I admire the most: My elder brother [Namwar Singh]

The person I despise the most: Cunning people

My favourite quote: ‘Truth is concrete’

One thing I wish I had done: Written a sequel to Apna Morcha

The first thing I do after getting up in the morning: Drink water and go out for a walk

My favourite pastime: Go out and interact with people at paan or tea shops to find out what they are thinking

My fitness regime includes: I exercise after coming back from my morning walk

My greatest challenge: To write better than what I have already written, and write on diverse topics

My advice to the young generation is: It is foolish to give them any advice. It suggests that we do not believe in them. I believe they have the imagination for creating a better world

My favourite vacation spot: Anywhere in the mountains or by the sea

My idea of comfort food: Banarasi paan

My passion: Writing

Right now I am working on: I have a hangover of my last published novel. I am trying to get over it

I want to be remembered as: A writer

 

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