Coming back to fiction is like coming full circle: Shobhaa De | books | Hindustan Times
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Coming back to fiction is like coming full circle: Shobhaa De

books Updated: Mar 14, 2011 19:42 IST
Shivani Yadav
Shivani Yadav
Hindustan Times
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"There are some characters, books, that take so much out of you and this is one of them," says Shobhaa De about the novel Sethji she is currently working on.

Having carved a niche for herself by her signature "Hinglish" style of fiction writing, Shobhaa moved on to being a freelance writer and columnist for various newspapers and magazines. Ask her that Sethji marks her return to fiction after more than 15 years and she replies smilingly, "It is something compelling. I wanted to do it for a long time. I thought it was also important to write non-fiction and about chronicling change in India. But coming back to fiction is like coming full circle"

The setting of the novel is Bombay, Delhi and Bihar and it delves into the nexus between politics, big business and Bollywood. "The book has been with me for a long time and the character of Sethji refused to go away from my mind. It was so clear and so completely real that it’s a scary thought; you almost feel you are becoming that person when you are writing it. I think the intensity of the experience of Sethji in my Shobhaa Deimagination was so overwhelming that I had to write it," she says.

Quiz her that so far, she has mostly written fiction for urban women and she explains, "I cannot write about something I don’t know sufficiently enough. I can’t write truthfully on rural reality, that’s a different world." At the same time, Sethji has a central character which is male, a first for her, and she explains vivaciously, "Yeah, I find that most exciting. So far my books have been driven by women and they have been the main protagonists. This is the first time I have tried to get under the skin of a pretty slimy man and I hope I succeed."

Ask her if she has any other concepts in mind for the future and she is quick to respond, "I am open to writing anything that is stimulating and will impact maximum number of people. I don’t plan a book." On a more philosophical note, she adds, "Every book has its taqdeer and a reason for getting born. So I cannot predict what I would be doing next." For now, Shobhaa is busy wrapping up Sethji that she hopes to release later this year.