like her writ­ing, her thoughts too re­flect her sev­eral ob­ser­va­tions

India Today - - COVER STORY -

On sex­ism

“My grand­fa­ther, my mother’s fa­ther, was a real fem­i­nist. I re­mem­ber go­ing to their house on week­ends and he would go and buy stuff he knew me and my brother loved and came back and pre­pared it for us. It wasn’t some­thing we all had to put him up on a pedestal for. But of course, we do still live in a sex­ist so­ci­ety. We see men be­ing praised for tasks that women do ev­ery­day. There’s a greater di­a­logue about it and it’s a larger con­ver­sa­tion.”

On writ­ing

“I go from the char­ac­ters up. I think that’s the cru­cial thing as a writer— ob­serv­ing and to be able to step away and fade away into the back­ground and watch peo­ple. When I meet peo­ple, I like hear­ing the small, minute de­tails about their lives. It sounds silly, but I love hear­ing what peo­ple do all day. I don’t need to hear life-chang­ing trau­matic ex­pe­ri­ences in their lives, I like know­ing what time they wake up and what they eat for break­fast.”

On ro­mance

“I like all of it. I like the big state­ments, but also the more I set­tle into my mar­riage, the more I like the evenings where we de­cide to can­cel a din­ner reser­va­tion and have din­ner at home be­cause we’re both work­ing through the evening. He in his stu­dio and me at my writ­ing desk. Those are some of the most tremen­dous mo­ments to me.”

On be­ing a trav­eller and a mother

“My brother and I trav­elled with our par­ents from a young age; my brother and his wife travel all over with their son (my nephew has the best pass­port pic­ture I’ve ever seen—you can see my brother hold­ing him up be­cause he was just a few weeks old and too young to sit up unas­sisted). Travel is a nat­u­ral part of our lives and I ex­pect to con­tinue it with my daugh­ter now. It isn’t even a con­scious de­ci­sion—travel and mov­ing is just who we (McCleary and Basu) are and who we will con­tinue to be. Now we’ll do it with an­other, small-sized per­son in tow—it will be even more fun.”

On home

My birth coun­try is In­dia, my adop­tive coun­try is US, and now my coun­try-in-law is New Zealand. No place is home but ev­ery place is home. I love them all in such dif­fer­ent ways. I hope to be able to con­tinue to do that and have our child do that as well. I want her to be equally at home ev­ery­where—I want her to guz­zle lan­guages and cul­tures and food and feel com­fort­able all over the world.”

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