1. Rabindranath Tagore - Duh, obviously. I'd be shivering and extremely nervous, but it would all be worth it if I could just tell him how much his poems and essays have delighted me. His physical appearance always makes me think of Tagore as Albus Dumbledore. I imagine that he would be wise, excellent at conversation and patient enough to put up with less intelligent mortals like yours truly.
2. J.K Rowling - This is the woman who has made me connect everything I see and everything that happens around me to Harry Potter. Notice the Albus Dumbledore reference above. I grew up with Ms.Rowling's boy wizard, made so many wonderful friends because of Harry Potter and discovered the absolute thrill of reading a good book. I would also ask her the recipe for the perfect Butterbeer.
3. Jane Austen - Granted my manners would probably shock Miss Austen and I would possibly not immediately understand any sarcastic remark she directs at me. But to be in the company of such a glorious writer would be amazing. I promise to not
freak her out startle her by being the crazy fangirl that I am. I shall also limit references to Mr.Darcy. He exists. Enough.
4. Nayantara Sahgal - It's getting tougher to not be my fangirlish self because Ms. Sahgal is one of the Indian writers I absolutely adore. I shall
interview ask her about all the trivia she can remember related to her uncle Jawaharlal Nehru (who I'd invite as well if I weren't so intimidated), her cousin Indira Gandhi and indeed about how it felt living in the British Raj and later, independent India. I shall also congratulate her for one of my most favourite book titles ever: Prison and Chocolate Cake.
5. Basharat Peer - I know he's written only one book so far but it was one of the most heart-breaking ones I've ever read. By the end of Curfewed Night, I wanted to tell the author how incredibly emotional it had been to read his book. Plus, to write about such a personal issue with such elegance and brutal honesty is incredible, and I want to thank him for that.
6. Jasper Fforde - Because I adore insanely creative people - emphasis on the creative part. I loved Fforde's Thursday Next series and though I haven't read his latest works, I think he's just too witty to exclude from any list that refers to authors and conversations.
7. Alex Von Tunzelmann - I really liked Indian Summer: The Secret History of the End of an Empire and though it's not my all-time favourite book or anything, I simply loved Von Tunzelmann's flair for the interesting minor details that makes history so very special. Plus, we have several common interests: India, Partition, pre-Independence drama, the British Raj, Nehru, Jinnah, Patel, the Mughals. Yeah, you get it. Loads to talk about! I also enjoy reading her reviews of period films.
This is such an eclectic guest list.
I'm making up for the great disappointment of not being able to go to the Jaipur Literature Festival by dreaming up the list of authors I'd love to talk with. What's your list? :)