Author Kiran Nagarkar frequently tells me he's 900 years old.
I don't bother to verify, but I'm glad that for a man who feels 900, he still has a lot to rage about.
“I'm not into sadness, I'm into bitterness," he says as we pick on pancakes and coffee over breakfast in Chennai.
The conversation jumps from poverty, Mumbai and chawls to sexual repression, bawdy humour and his new novel, The Extras.
And of course to where Extras began: In the form of Ravan and Eddie, who burst into the Indian literary scene in 1994 in a delightful opening chapter full of black comedy, twists and outrageous imagery.
Ravan and Eddie remains one of the best books set in Mumbai: The city’s chawls, its language and cinematic culture were as much a character as the book’s two tenacious heroes whose lives intersect thanks to a bizarre accident only Nagarkar could conjure up.
Extras, the sequel to Ravan and Eddie, follows the journey of the two men, 18 years later, into Mumbai's Aunty Bars, taxis, and finally, the Hindi film industry.
Excerpts from a conversation with Nagarkar, who won the Sahitya Academy Award for his path-breaking 1997 novel Cuckold:
Hindi cinema is a big part of The Extras, but you've said you have a love-hate relationship with Bollywood…
My relationship with Hindi films is very peculiar. I can't stand them most of the time.
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Image: Kiran Nagarkar is one of the few Indian writers who've written in more than one language. His first novel, Saat Sakkam Trechalis (Published in English as Seven Sixes Are Forty Three), is considered one of the landmark works of Marathi literature