Exclusive Interview: Anuvab Pal

Serena Vora , 20 Oct 2011

Acclaimed author, screenwriter of the award-winning film The Loins of Punjab and stand-up comic, Anuvab Pal is ready with his latest novel 1-888-Dial-India. Based on the play by the same name 1-888-Dial-India is about an Indian call center which isn’t helping consumers fix their computers or dealing with credit card related questions, but aims to help suicidal Americans dealing with the recession. The question being: “if everything can be outsourced to India, why not the saving of American lives?”Anuvab took some time out to speak with us about his views on ‘Hinglish’, his upcoming project and the people you must follow on Twitter!

Team MissMalini: Where did the inspiration for your latest novel come from?
AP:  I came across a call centre in Hyderabad that handles americans who are suicidal.

Team MissMalini: How far has India come as a comedy nation?
AP: You may have to ask the Prime Minister that one.

Team MissMalini: Who are your favorite Indian authors?
AP: I read mostly non-fiction so Ram Guha is up there, William Dalrymple for crazy old facts about Indian history.

Team MissMalini: What are your views on ‘Hinglish’?
AP: Is that mixing up Hindi and English in sentences? I suppose it makes sense if one is trying to write a character who talks like that. I personally don’t usually walk around saying things like kya cool hain everything or total timepass, faltu or whatever, so my sentences try not to.

Team MissMalini: Any plans of writing another screenplay in the near future?
AP: I’m in the middle of a romantic comedy currently that’s set between London, Samarkandh and Lucknow.

Team MissMalini: What personally makes you laugh?
AP: Discomfort. Facade. Aspiration.

Team MissMalini: Who are the 5 people everyone should follow on Twitter?
AP: @SethMacFarlane for nonsense; @ShashiTharoor for how intellectuals live; my wife @dpanjana for clever little goings on; @ConanOBrien for jokes and @MissMalini for Bombay hipster things.

P.S. You can purchase 1-888-Dial-India at a bookstore near you or order it on Flipkart!

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