We love that the Indian publishing industry is filled with such fantastic writers and illustrators of children’s books. Five Minutes With …is a feature where we get to know some of our favourite children’s book people in some not-so-usual ways.
Writer Arundhati Venkatesh went to school in five towns, and worked in four continents. Everywhere, she made up stories. Now she puts them down on paper. When she is not cooking up stories or dreaming of food, she haunts bookstores and libraries in Bangalore.
What’s your favourite thing to write about?
I wish I could say it’s something world-changing, but if you’ve read my books (You haven’t? What are you waiting for? Get on it NOW), you’ll know it’s:
b) Secret societies and their top secret codes
c) Many-headed monsters, snoring giants and other humongous creatures
d) Climbing trees, playing football, getting muddy and messy
Which children’s book character do you think you’re most like?
As a kid, I was convinced I was Matilda. ‘Rubbish!’ said my brother and insisted I was one of The Witches.
Tell us a children’s book you love.
WHAT! Just one? Today, I’m in the mood for Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger by Louis Sachar. Those are some of the wackiest school stories I’ve read.
If you could have any pet in the world, what would it be and what would you name them?
I have a talking puppy (speaks four languages) that answers to Bulbul, Babloo, Pappoo, Puppy Singh, Chattan Singh Pankhania, and anything else I choose to call him. The puppy gets hungry every half hour, so I could do with a wish-giving genie.
If you had to write a story about an object/human around you, what would it be about?
The Mystery of the Chirping Chair.
It exists, I swear. The chirping begins when you go within ten feet of the chair. Sometimes, it starts off while you’re seated on it, halfway through your alphonso. Most inconvenient.