Delighting in Dalrymple

Favourite genre

It’s no surprise really that my favourite genre is reading screenplays of classic films from around the world. As everyone knows, my father was the celebrated screen writer Inder Raj Anand and he always frequented the famous book store Strand in Colaba. The founder and owner of the bookstore, the late T.N. Shanbagh, was a great friend of my father’s. He would get us rare books on screenplays and screen writing. My father introduced me to this genre and till today I read new screenplays of critically appreciated films. Other than that I read general fiction.

Starting out

My earliest reading memories include reading books written by Stephen Wright as he helped me to develop my craft of précis writing while studying in boarding school.

Top of the list

My favourite author would be William Dalrymple because he has written a lot of books on history and he has immense knowledge of his subject. His greatest success as a writer is that he has made reading history very interesting. His popular books include The Last Mughal, Koh-I-Noor: The History of the World’s Most Infamous Diamond, Return of a King, etc.

A suitable hour

My ideal time to read would be from late evening to night and while retiring to bed.

Personal preference

I prefer physical books and not e-books because the real fun of reading a book lies in holding it in one’s hands.

Carving time

I read according to the leisure time I have from my acting, writing and directorial assignments, but yes, my father inculcated in me the passion for reading and I am a voracious reader.

Top recommendations

I recommend all books by Stephen Wright like Going Native and Meditations in Green. In fact, besides all Wright’s works, all books on screenplays and screenwriting are a must for film students and even other readers.

Book to screen

A good screen adaptation of a book I like is Letters from an Unknown Woman written by Stefan Zweig. Also I like the short story written by my father which was made into a film by me starring Amitabh Bachchan called Kaalia which was a huge box office success.