The hardest fact is that I am unable to read my own book – such is my emotional state. The episodes of losing my dearest brother Ravi, my mother’s illness because of wretched conditions of refugee camps and vagabond years and the hardships faced in exile - These give me sleepless nights.
Who are the writers who have influenced you the most? Any books about exile and persecution that you would recommend?
WG Sebald, a German writer and academic, VS Naipaul Primo Michele Levi- an Italian writer and survivor of Auschwitz concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland.
Stories about holocaust borne by Jews have influenced me the most; Primo Michele Levi’s account, as also the Leon Uris series.
Did Vidhu Vinod Chopra offer to make your book into a film?
Yes, he certainly did. In the film industry today, no one is better equipped and qualified to make a film on Kashmir than Vidhu Vinod Chopra. He is a brilliant filmmaker and is from Kashmir and understands every thread of Kashmir. So if a film on Kashmir and Kashmiri Pandits has to be made, it will have to be made by him. And, it will be.
Image: Rahul Pandita with director Vidhu Vinod Chopra and Vir Chopra
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Also see: Kiran Nagarkar on Extras, sexual repression & humourless Indians