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Prabhat on `Eimona'

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`Eimona'-scape

You belong to the tech sector yourself... how much do you identify with this world? Would you say the world of Bharat and Indu is already upon us?

My contention is that the world of Bharat and Indu is almost upon us. There's very little of it that's not happening. Of what's not happening now, there are incipient signs.

You appear as a person who belongs to this world and yet stands apart and looks at it critically, ironically, and even sardonically. Would you say you are a generation ahead of the tech world of today?

About the modern world, I am in a limbo state: I neither belong, nor don't belong. I am largely in the position of a disinterested (not uninterested) observer. Looking at things sardonically is second nature to me as stinging is to a scorpion.

The book talks a lot about stock options and tech millionaires. Have you watched young techies spend recklessly, borrowing money against their stocks as Bharat does... and then ending up in trouble as he does?

The experience of one's consumption racing ahead of one's means is a repeating story of our times.

Indu is stronger, tougher in all senses of the word and even smarter in that she cashes in when the stock prices are high. And yet she's a `winner' who is not a very endearing character. Would you say success affects women more than men in the adverse manner etched in your book?

I would not make that generalisation. This happened to Indu, an individual. There is no implication beyond that.

Is Maya a ray of hope... the next generation which will move away from gizmos, Internet chats and return to the world of books, nature, etc. Or is that putting it too simplistically?

Maya is a misfit, but paradoxically so. Her connectedness with the world at large is intact as opposed to the connectedness of the people around her who are ultimately alone. Yet she is condemned as suffering from anomie. There is an absurd reversal that I mention. To be sighted in the land of the blind may not be an advantage. Therefore I make no prediction about the future in Maya.

Clearly Subbu is the most endearing character. Is he sketched on a real-life person father, grandfather?

All fictional characters are composites. They are often combinations of people you have seen or heard about. To such combinations you add an element of original imagination that finally defines the character. Subbu is also a product of this process. I fervently hope that `Eimona' joins mainstream vocabulary much as `Erewhon', `Brave New World' and `1984' did years ago.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated September 1, 2006)
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