Avocational Interests

Personal data:

Born in Mumbai (formerly Bombay), India. I studied at Campion High School, then Jai Hind College, followed by The Institute of Science (Mumbai). I got my B.Sc. from University of Mumbai in 1979 and my Ph.D. from Carnegie-Mellon University (Pittsburgh) in 1983 (both in Mathematics).


First published work in English: The Seven Circles (The New Yorker, Feb 14, 2000)

My first novel, The Death of Vishnu debuted world-wide in India on Jan 6, 2001. There are 25 editions world-wide that have appeared (or will appear) - US (W.W. Norton), UK (Bloomsbury), India, Germany, Italy, France, Greece, Sweden, Finland, Spain, Holland, Portugal, Denmark, Brazil, Israel, Poland, Turkey, Japan, Catalan, Hungary, Estonia, Serbia, Croatia, Thailand, Taiwan. Several interviews and reviews can be found on the web.

The Death of Vishnu was the winner of the 2002 Barnes and Noble Discover Prize, the 2001 Ralph Heyne Corrine Buchpreis (Germany), the 2002 McKittrick Prize (UK), and a Pen-Bingham Fellowship for 2002-04. It was also a finalist for the Pen-Faulkner award, Kiriyama prize, Pen-Hemingway award, LA Times Art Seidenbaum award, Torgi Literary award (Canada) and WH Smith First Novel award (UK). It was long-listed for the Booker Prize (2001) and the IMPAC Prize (2003) and was a NY Times Notable Book for 2001.


One of my hobbies in India was painting film posters. Although many of them were `Bollywood' movies, here are some Hollywood ones:

Close Encounters
The Shining

The UK cover of "The Death of Vishnu" mimics a Hindi film poster, and is inspired in part by the idea of a film poster cover I painted for the book.


I spend a lot of my free time doing this. Here's a picture of some appetizers prepared for a dinner some years back.


People who've read my novel ask me if there is really such a thing as `Russian salad samosas.' Well, no - not that I have tasted (thankfully), but given the craze for `fusion' cooking, I can imagine it appearing on some menu soon. What I personally enjoy doing is adding one or two ingredients from one cuisine into a recipe from another cuisine (such as a French cream soup made with coconut milk instead of cream). I hesitate to put recipes here because (like most home experimenters) I don't write down precise amounts of ingredients used. But I'm hoping to make precise the instructions for a main dish of Salmon with Orange and Mint (picture below) which combines mint and coriander from India with salmon and cream from France (and has successfully endured many dinner parties).


The two foods I miss most from India? First and foremost, the Alphonso mango, which is the king of the king of fruits. People in the US who are used to the tough, stringy, raw and tasteless blobs that one finds in supermarkets have no idea to what poetic heights this fruit can transport one to. Go to Mumbai in April to taste an Alphonso, or if that's too far, go to Southall, the Indian section of London, where they are available in the summer. I understand that these mangoes will be available in the US, starting with the 2007 mango season. The second is the glorious pomfret.