‘Life is non-literary, unstructured. We try to give our own structure to it’: Writer Jayant Kaikini

‘Life is non-literary, unstructured. We try to give our own structure to it’: Writer Jayant Kaikini

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Jayant Kaikini’s No Presents Please: Mumbai Stories, translated from Kannada by Tejaswini Niranjana, is a collection of short stories on his city dating back to the 1980s. In the translator’s note, Niranjana talks of exchanging texts with Kaikini while she rode the local trains – experiencing the city of the stories as she discussed the book with him.

The collection brings together ordinary characters in the city such as the bachelor who finds an unexpected visitor at his doorstep, the attendant at a cinema who befriends a regular audience member, and the mischievous child whose father tries to determine if Mumbai is the city that will straighten out or ruin his son.