Meet poet and musician, Jeet Thayil

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Puja Bhattacharjee | July 17, 2015 | New Delhi


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Jeet Thayil, an Indian poet, novelist, librettist and musician, is well known for his first novel, Narcopolis that won the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature and was also shortlisted for Man Booker Prize and Hindu Literary Prize. He has worked as a journalist in Mumbai, New York and Bengaluru. Nowadays he focuses more on music and says no real musician likes to sleep at night. A master’s in fine arts from Sarah Lawrence College (New York), Thayil is the recipient of several grants and awards from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Swiss Arts Council, the British Council and the Rockefeller Foundation. In 2012, Thayil’s poetry collection These Errors are Correct was given the Sahitya Akademi award for English.

Poetry to me is:  Emotion recollected in tranquillity.

I daydream about:  I get lost in a line or a sentence actually heard or read.

My favourite book:  Not Chairman Mao’s little red book where he noted down his thoughts

My biggest fear: It changes from day to day. Right now it is swine flu

My idea of spirituality is:  Green absinthe 70 percent or black absinthe 80 percent

My biggest inspiration:  My father (journalist TJS George). He worked no matter what. He could be surrounded by chaos but would still keep working and finish what he was doing

My biggest regret: I have not worked on any real writing in a long time

My idea of comfort food is:  Raw fish. I love Sashimi

My biggest challenge so far: Quitting heroin

My biggest weakness: Jealousy, possessiveness

My favourite quote: Yes the first time to the world. No the second time perhaps.

The sound I find soothing:
The sound of a typewriter

Right now I am busy with: Travelling and playing music

I describe myself as: I am still as confused as I was in my 20s. I am no wiser.

My favourite piece of art: The two paintings by Francis Newton Souza that I own

My fitness regime: I lift red wine glasses from the table with both hands

My favourite beverage: Red wine, black beer and black coffee

The person I despise the most: I am not that forgiving but I try to be

I want to be remembered as: We will die and everyone who love and care about us will die. I am sure I will not be remembered after I die.
 

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