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THE MAKING OF.../THE WRITING OF...

I tend not to make a lot of notes while writing a book but I photograph around me. These serve as notes, reminders, and as a record of various details. For instance, while writing Summer I photographed hundreds of paintings at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris and the entire collection of the Musée Rodin. These served as a sort of personal memory. While copyright issues don't permit me to replicate some of the paintings mentioned in the novel, I have reproduced other photographic records in the sections below. These correspond to the visual journeys I undertook in the course of the novel.



Prem's & Pascal's trip to Mont Saint Michel

That Summer in Paris, just like my other novels is not a true story. However in order to write it I did spend time in Paris. While the novel was written over the period of one summer it was edited and revised over the course of a trip the following spring when the section pertaining to Mont Saint Michel really came together. In a sense I knew I'd be using the trip to Mont Saint Michel rather directly in the writing of the novel. This meant that I ended up looking at the entire trip through Prem's and Pascal's eyes at the price of truly being there myself! In some ways this enhanced the trip but in others it detracted from it. My photos on this trip were taken in place of notes for the novel.



A Summer in Paris

The photographs in this section often served as visual reminders of my time in France. I used them to conjure up the flavor of Paris, sometimes even as I was writing the novel in Paris itself. The truth is that even in the city of light when I'm writing a novel I'm cooped up in my room typing on my keyboard, often sitting cross-legged with the laptop balanced on my knee. A picture serves me better than whatever I might have scrawled on the small notebook I carry in the back pocket of my cargos. Working on the book I stayed in various sections of Paris including the 6th, the 19th, the 5th, the 18th, the 7th, and the 3rd. It was a good way of getting to know the city that was my muse.



Maya's trips to India

If you've read the novel you know that we don't see much of Maya's Indian trips. A couple of things that she mentions like the Automatic Tea and Coffee Stall are for real! But mostly, I'm just attaching photos taken in India over the last two years since I'd already started That Summer in Paris and had Maya's character in my head as I traveled around. Almost all these photographs are of the south.



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The two Ps in Normandy & Brittany
Click on any image in the series to enlarge it



Marshes of Mont Saint Michel


Inside the Mont


Smelling the rain


The Alabaster coast


An Homage to Flaubert in Rouen


The ravages of time








Normandy Coast Sculpture


The Mont at Night


That special blue


Chateau at Fougères


The Chateau


The Elephant's tusk painted by Courbet, Manet, Monet etc.






A Summer in Paris
Click on any image in the series to enlarge it




Roofs at the golden hour


Street art in the Marais


Germain Pilon's gargoyles on Pont Neuf and the level of the Seine in 1910


Lining up at Centre Pompidou


The 7th arrondisement


Lake in the Bois de Boulogne


Petite Rue, Le Marais












The corner bistro in the 5th


Apartment where a big chunk of "Summer" was written


A painter setting up at Place du Tertre



Favorite Street


View of St. Michel


Métro Abbesses station


A morning in Montmartre before sitting to write





Grand temples, ratty guesthouses, and general chaos
Click on any image in the series to enlarge it




If Pascal were Indian...


Train platform, south India


Temple at Thanjavur


Temple Wall


Yogic Treepose


Bringing in the morning catch


Pondicherry












Maximum Ganesh maximum prosperity


Bus station goat


Detail of carving


Thanjavur at dusk


Madurai Temple


Trichy Temple


Random ratty motel room




EXPERIMENTAL FILMS

An hommage to Marcel Duchamp shot in old Delhi.



With modernisation and urban development many street professions are rapidly being pushed out of Delhi
and into the suburbs where their remains in jeopardy. Raju here is one such worker who makes fresh
biscuits (cookies) on the road in Faridabad on the outskirts of Delhi.



The change in the urban environment include depletion of forest voer and foliage has pushed Delhi's
wildlife out into the city and spawned an ecosystem all its own. The co-habitation of man and beast
has become perceptibly more intimate in the past few years.