1. We would like to know about your journey as a journalist.
I have a somewhat charmed life: being in the right place at the right time. I began my career at the age of 16-going-on-17 as a sports journalist on the newly-launched Daily Nation in Nairobi, Kenya. To this day, quite a lot of folk remember me as a sports journalist. They obviously did not read the news pages. A few years later I moved to the General News section to begin pursuing my dream of becoming an investigative journalist which I achieved no long after. In 1960, the Mau Mau rebellion had been put down, "the wind of (political) change" was sweeping Africa, the colonialists were leaving and a new dawn was breaking on the continent. I left Kenya as Chief Reporter at the Nation leaving behind a career that included being a columnist, editorial writer, political go-between and travelling the world covering such events at the UN Security Council, the Commonwealth Heads of Government summit, the Olympics. I worked briefly in the UK and Europe before migrating to "replenish our tans" in Australia where I held senior positions on both the Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian, was founding Chief Sub-editor of Australia's colour magazine. Good Weekend, for the Fairfax stable, helped friends produced Australia's longest serving newspaper for the Indian community, The Indian Down Under. I am nothing more than a journalist, still seeking the truth 56 years later.
2. Tell us about your debut novel " Yesterday in Paradise"
I do not for a moment pretend that Yesterday in Paradise is the classic novel. I break all the rules of authorship. I write like I tell a story ... or another news report. It is, in fact, the story of my life, my career, the Mau Mau rebellion and the evil torture of the innocents by the colonial government, Kenya's struggle towards independence and the robbery, land grabbing, assassinations, bribery and corruption post independence. It is also a little about Kenya's formidable sports scene which was once dominated by South Asians in hockey, cricket, soccer, badminton, and lots other sports. It is also a tribute to my mother who raised six children as a single mother with no specific job or no specific income. I also focus very largely on the Goan community in Kenya: its achievements, its failings and the heartbreak of having to leave a country they loved so much .... and much, much more.
3. What are your views on feminism? How do you see feminism as a journalist?
Today, there is (or at least there should not be) no such thing as feminists or feminism. We are all born equal. Whatever the gender or sexual preference. No man is no more nor less than a woman and vice versa.
4. What do you think is the role of literature festival?
The written word in paper print is dead. That is the universal view. It is also true that the world has not stopped reading. True, newspapers are shrinking while the digital news media is expanding beyond our wildest dreams. It really does not matter but if there is a newspaper, magazine or a book on the nearby table, people will still pick it up and take a look. So old-style reading is not dead. The Goa Arts and Literary Festival, although quite in its infancy, has taken up arms to help protect the future of Indian (Goan?) authors, their books and art in all its forms. Being biased, this is a noble effort. I hope that GALF continues to prosper as the guardian of authors and their written word as well as artists in various styles and their eternal works of art. Without arts and literary festival, the death of the printed word on paper may come sooner than we think. Oh, what kind of hell would that be on earth!