17 August, 2012

The second in the Shree Cement-sponsored series of An Authors Afternoon on August 17, 2012, hosted Jeet Thayil at The Taj Bengal, Kolkata, in association with Siyahi. The event was anchored by Debanjan Chakroborty. It was a lively discussion on Thayil’s books on Bombay, drugs and sex.

Jeet Thayil was the first Indian to win the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature for his maiden novel - Narcopolis. The book is about drugs and its effect on the everyday life of a group of people over two decades. The characters in this book are all connected in some way to Rashid’s opium house on a street in Bombay. The book shows Dimple’s journey and the changing face of drug usage within India from opium to heroin. The book, was short listed for the Man Booker Prize. Thayil is also the editor of Divided Time: India and the End of Diaspora (2006).

The author shared his own experiences about his book. Why Thayil used long sentences in this book? Well, it was to sync with the backdrop set in the 70s, 80s and 90s in Bombay, the changing face from opium to the degrading and ugly world of heroin and modern Bombay. “If you live in an Indian city like Bombay and Delhi, you see horror on a daily basis,” Thayil said.