I want to write books too? What do you do if you get stuck while writing a novel? These were some of the responses from the crowd at Crossword, Linking Road, at the ‘Meet Bandra’s Authors’ event.
The session sought to unravel the impulses and intricacies behind writing a non-fiction book and, simultaneously, being a journalist.
Each of the four panelists — Soumya Bhattacharya, Darryl D’Monte, Dilip D’Souza and Ayaz Memon — either is or has been a journalist.
The event was part of the Celebrate Bandra fest held in partnership with Hindustan Times.
“We wanted to get journalists who have also written books together for a chat,” said event organiser Peter Griffin. The session, moderated by Vikram Doctor of The Economic Times, combined a panel discussion, reading of excerpts and audience questions.
To a comment from the audience that standards of journalism were falling, Memon, a senior journalist, said an editor might want to put Socrates on the front page, but the readers want to know about Kangana Ranaut.
The panelists read from their forthcoming and older books. It was this encapsulation of themes that set the tone for broader questions and discussions. “My memories and associations of cricket are emblematic of many others,” said Bhattacharya, resident editor of Hindustan Times, Mumbai, of his forthcoming book All That You Can’t Leave Behind, a fan’s view of the game.
D’Monte, former editor of The Times of India, Mumbai, read from his book on the decline of Mumbai and its mills, about union leader Datta Samant’s murder and the rise of the underworld.
How do journalists get the time to write books? It all had to do with discipline, they all agreed.