Vikram Chandra: Translating to Television
Q: The Jaipur Literature Festival now has art, music, handicrafts, you name it. Has the tamasha begun to eclipse the authors?
A: I noticed that some people have been writing jaundiced criticisms along those lines. But I think it adds. It’s like a big mela. You could feel [the focus on literature] is being diluted but for me it adds to the fun. Q: Netflix is working on a series based on your novel, Sacred Games. What’s it like watching type turn into TV?
A: I wanted to let go. When you’re translating from one medium to another it’s as difficult as translating from one language to another, and I’m too close to the book to try to see it in new ways. [As an executive producer] most of my job is to shut up and get out of the way. Q: Are you still excited about so-called “Indian writing in English”?
A: Suddenly in the last 10 years you’ve seen a surge of chick lit and thrillers and especially all this mythological fiction. It’s an interesting thing to think about how the new bourgeoisie is investigating itself culturally in this new fiction—especially the rewriting of all these mythological characters.