Book Talk: Bangalore author Usha K.R. looks beyond IT

Wed Sep 1, 2010 7:56am EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Rohan Dua

NEW DELHI (Reuters Life!) - For many people, the city of Bangalore, also known as Bengaluru, conjures up an image of a metropolis that plays host to the headquarters of some of the world's biggest software companies.

But dubbing Bangalore "the Silicon Valley of India" has started to irritate local residents and even those who have made it their home as they argue the city in the Indian state of Karnataka is much more than just an IT hub.

Award-winning author Usha K. R. from Bangalore uses the city as the backdrop to her latest novel, "Monkey-man," published by Penguin India, that features a mix of lifestyles influenced by the city's deeply entrenched past and evolving culture.

There are characters worried that globalization has made their skills obsolete and those who want to make the most of the new opportunities and surge ahead with confidence.

The author, whose other books include "A Girl and A River," "The Chosen" and "Sojourn," spoke to Reuters about her writing:

Q: What sparked the idea for the novel?

A: "My thoughts on Monkey-man started coalescing around the year 2000. The '90s were a period of rapid and evident change. The economy was opening up for the first time since independence, globalization seemed certain and inexorable, IT and its manifestation, the Internet, were changing the face of communication, our conception of time and space even, and India seemed to be catapulting from a developing economy to the exciting new destination for the world. I began thinking about how these changes would affect different people, how much control they would have over their lives, and then my characters, situated in different forks of time and circumstance, started coming to life."

Q: And the monkey-man?   Continued...