Q and A... Chitra Soundar

Q: What did you want to be when you were a child?

A: This one is easy, I wanted to be a teacher.


Q: What are you afraid of?

A: creepy-crawlies and snakes. As a child and even now sometimes I get nightmares about creepy-crawlies eating me little by little.


Q: What’s your favourite colour?

A: Burnt orange like the setting sun over the ocean.


Q: What is your favourite possession?

A: I’m a hoarder – I have so many things that I have kept for more than three decades. But my favourite one has to be a book of poems I wrote when I was 12.


Q: How long have you been a writer?

A: About twelve years as a published writer. My first book came out in 2003. But as a writer – since I was 12 I think. Before that I used to be a storyteller – never wrote any of those down.


Q: Do you write by hand or on the computer?

A: Both actually – the first few chapters are always by hand in a special notebook using my favourite pens. Then I type them up and continue on the computer.


Q: Which of your characters do you most identify with?

A: I think Farmer Falgu – although Veera & Suku and Balu all my characters have bits of me. Falgu is like me in many ways – he’s always positive and turning difficulties into opportunities.


Q: Where do you get your greatest ideas from?

A: Indian culture, mythology and folktales – they inspire me to imagine, and

Museums – especially the Natural History Museum.


Q: What sort of books do you write?

A: I write picture books and fiction for young people from three to nine years old.


Q: Which writers/illustrators would you have on your dream team and why?

A: Oooh! Can I have Ruskin Bond (who writes fabulous ghost stories),

Priya Kurien who illustrated my book Where’s Gola’s Home and is a great caricaturist

and my most favourite illustrator of Falgu books - Kanika Nair for her wonderful use of colour and bold strokes.


Q: I loved writing this bit...


As a response to Carl Sandberg’s poem Fog




The storm comes,

trumpeting and mad.

It lashes down

over thatched roofs and mud huts

with its pounding feet

and then moves on.



Chitra copy PantherRoom