Interview: Namita Devidayal
Friday, 29 May, 2020
What are you currently reading?
Very little, as I have been swamped with housework which leaves me exhausted by day end. But I did just finish An American Marriage by Tayari Jones* which I loved. I regularly read the Mumbai papers and The New York Times. Instead of reading, these days I have found myself unwinding by doing needlework! Quarantine has enabled me to create a patchwork bedcover. Most meditative and lovely!
- * Find it on Workman (link to purchase)
What have you been listening to lately?
A lot of random instrumental music thanks to Spotify.
Have you watched anything interesting recently?
What is one book everyone should read and why?
A good translation and interpretation of the Bhagwad Gita, because it gives you immense knowledge and a scaffolding of wisdom within which you can reach greater heights in whatever you do, personally or professionally.
Tell us about a book you keep going back to?
The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald, because it is such a gem of fine writing and immerses you into a very particular time and place ... and of course I am slightly biased because the writer is a fellow Princetonian!
- Find it on Simon & Schuster (link to purchase)
What is your favourite under-appreciated book?
The BG. Because religion has been so grossly politicised, I fear we have lost many of our gems, which have completely secular universal truths in them, and are almost holographic in their storytelling.
Do you have a favourite spot to read?
Yes a big white fake Eames chair in my bedroom which overlooks a gorgeous Gulmohar tree.
What is your favourite place to write?
My desk — both in my flat in Mumbai and at my house in Alibag.
Namita is the author of three books — the award-winning The Music Room, Aftertaste, and The Sixth String of Vilayat Khan. She has been a journalist with The Times of India for many years and co-director of the Times Litfest in Mumbai. She is a trained Indian classical singer. Namita graduated from Princeton in the US.
About Summer Fridays
Summer Fridays is a brand new blog series by Asia Society India Centre, profiling established cultural influencers and rising stars in various fields. Each week we feature conversations, interviews, recipes, playlists, and more—on art, food, music, literature, and film.