1. Your journey as an author.
It's just begun. I've published a volume of stories, a book of non-fiction, and edited two anthologies--one on the Indian school experience over 200 years, and another one on drinking.
2. Tell us about your book: "The Butterfly Generation"
I'll let the Hindustan Times reviewer have the final word on this. I couldn't have put it better. "Mehrotra’s book is not really an ‘India book’. It is about a young man diving into disparate corners and multiple centres of his surroundings that happen to be 21st century urban India. He is an intimate part of the portraits he presents. If some readers find this gonzo approach self-indulgent, one can only tut-tut their dogma honed from sermons about keeping the observer-observed lakshmanrekha intact. Unlike other narrations of, say, the India call centre story, Mehrotra peels off layers to go into the lives of his characters rather than the subjects they might ‘represent’. In a book shot with comic verve, there’s a dark, frenetic undertow that breaks to the surface at times. This book is not a sociological tract. It is an intimate portrait of the world the author inhabits and the outlying zones that tumble into it. This makes it all the more authentic."
3. What is the role of a writer?
To tell the truth. To go against the grain. To entertain.
4. What do you think is the role of literature festivals?
To enable writers to meet readers and fellow writers. (Though I must say that writers are a suspicious lot and usually don't get along with each other). For me personally, lit fests give me an opportunity to leave my study and meet people and see places. I live in Dehradun. I don't travel at all. I don't step out much in my own town. I don't have a passport. The outside world is a dangerous place. I don't want to be run over by a bus. I am scared of dying. I know I haven't written my best book yet. I need to preserve myself.