By Utpal Borpujari & B S Arun
Politics’ gain has been the bibliophile’s loss.
Shashi Tharoor, UN diplomat-turned-politician and internationally-acclaimed author of 11 books, is taking a break as a writer, so that he can concentrate on his job as a Union Minister and an MP.
“There is a limit to the multitasking that one can do. I think my writing will have to go to the backburner, at least in the initial phases (of political career),” Tharoor, sworn in on Thursday as Minister of State for External Affairs, told Deccan Herald.
The break, he says, is necessary as like every minister, he too has to play a double role – that of a representative of his constituency meeting the needs of people, and a minister who has to play a role in framing national policies pertaining to the ministry.
“I suspect for a long time I will have to work harder because Thiruvananthapuram as a constituency has been somewhat neglected. I am a man from the Backwaters but I don’t want my constituency to be in the backwaters of Indian development,” he says.
But fans of his writing, don’t despair as yet. His last book – for the time being, that is – will hit the stands very shortly. Co-written with former Pakistani Foreign Secretary Shahryar Khan, the book, to be published by Roli Books, is a compendium on the 60 years of India-Pakistan cricket.
“The book was getting ready when the 26/11 happened. It was to be launched during the India-Pakistan series in January which got called off. Now finally it is coming out in June or July,” he says.
“This is a book for my readers who love cricket, others may not like it that much. It is primarily a survey of those 60 years, but is also meant to look forward in terms of so many other issues, and becomes more relevant as it is coming out when the India-Pakistan cricketing relations are in suspension,” he says, adding with a tinge of regret, “That would be probably the last book for a little while now.”
When he resumes writing, will he write a book on his experiences in electoral politics? Quick comes the reply, “Probably only if I lose, because when you are writing fiction or non-fiction, the writer has to have some kind of distance from the subject. Otherwise, it is very difficult to have the detachment that is necessary to do a good job of writing.”