Chetan Bhagat, best-selling author of
One Night At A Call Centre
Three Mistakes of My Life
You work with a bank. Given the economic downturn, do you thank God you started writing?
I never thought writing would be an option to make a living. But I am fortunate my books have sold and now that the banking sector is on a downturn people in office do tell me, ‘it’s nice you have a backup.’
Does that mean books pay you as much as a bank does?
I don’t want to get into that, but yes, both pay me well.
Like most authors you have used autobiographical elements in your books. Do you think it’s time to look elsewhere for inspiration?
With your first few books, you do use stories from your life. But as you grow you must have the ability to create stories from elsewhere. I’m fortunate I get a lot of fan mail. Many tell me problems about their relationship, career or parents. I’ve got a lot of inspiration from them.
You are going to be writing scripts too?
Yes. Selectively. If it is a very good project, and an A-list team. It’s not huge on my agenda but it something I enjoy.
Who are your favourite Indian writers?
R.K. Narayan, Rohiton Mistry, Amitav Ghosh, Salman Rushdie. I like Gulzar saab a lot because he does both, books and movies.
What are the three mistakes of your life?
I commit three mistakes almost every day. But I wish I had done more humanities courses. I wish I had read more literature while I was growing up. Maybe I’d be a better writer and have had even more of an impact. Second, I’ve gained weight in the last year and need to take care of that. Third, I don’t give as much time to my children as I want to. I try, but it can be better.