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    Read the given passage carefully and attempt the questions that follow.

    It is the air of vulnerability that strikes you more than anything else. He is reserved, a man of few words – between conversations that is. For Upamanyu Chatterjee, making small talk does not come easy. He is a self-confessed recluse of sorts – “I hardly meet any people.” But, on the other hand, he is verbose enough in the books he writes. A dichotomy? Perhaps. But then, Chatterjee’s life seems full of dichotomies. Two separate selves working at two different levels. “For the last 20 years, I’ve lived two completely different lives,” says Chatterjee.

    It is not easy getting him into a controversy. Like a seasoned bureaucrat, he avoids it with a general answer. Ask him why he’s never thought of giving up his job, now that he’s an established writer, and he replies that he’s not sure that it would help him write more. “I am not sure if I would produce more if I become a writer full time. Here you have a 9-to-5 and then when you do get down to work – it’s nice to switch off and get onto something else. Whereas I imagine if I was writing fulltime, I’d always be looking for distractions to prevent me from getting the job done. Writing is sort of both tiresome and tiring, don’t you think so?” He readily agrees that it is also the subconscious need to have the security of not having to worry about the next meal that keeps him at his job with the government.

    Weight Loss is autobiographical, claims Chatterjee. “In the sense that the concerns in this book are autobiographical.” He quickly clarifies: “In the spiritual aspect that Bhola seeks, that is.” Chatterjee is convinced that a deep sense of “futility” is inevitable in every being. When asked why, he murmurs, “May be, I should meet more people.” But on a more serious note, he says that the concerns in Weight Loss revolve around the notion of a wasted life. “Bhola follows this degrading sensual life because the spiritual life is more difficult to follow. It’s downhill all the way because he gives up the battle even before he starts.” Explaining the dark humor that underlies almost all his writing, Chatterjee says that his books are “both dark and light. I see Weight Loss also as a funny book but it is also about a wasted life.” Bhola, according to him, is very much a modern character and the world he inhabits “is very much the world here, it’s not as though he’s transposed from any other milieu,” he says.

    As a writer, he is influenced by everything around him. Ask him if he is a spiritual person, he pauses and admits that he has a sense of morality, a code of ethics and then surprisingly says, “I don’t think anyone can believe in God anymore but to me, increasingly, it has seemed that to find God you only need time. All you need is literally superhuman patience, the time for it to unfold itself out. But, otherwise, I think I’m suspicious of religious tenets and mumbo jumbo.”

    While he is unwilling to be drawn into any arguments about the debate on Indians writing in English, Chatterjee’s major concern is that he would just want more and more people to read and for that, he would not mind considering a ban on television. He also does not agree with the notion that it is the marketing and the hype that push a book’s sales. Neither is he convinced that the face of an author can help sell a book. It’s another matter that he has been chosen as one of the “hot babes” by a gossip magazine for not only his looks but also for his whacky sense of humour. “In the end, it is the content that will survive. I don’t want to sound callous but it’s obviously something (the hype) that publishers want to do. But had it not been there I wouldn’t have insisted on it for my books,” he added.

    From his first book English, August to his fourth, Weight Loss, Chatterjee’s journey has been long and sometimes, in his own words, slow. He says that when he started writing, he gave himself a deadline of sorts – one book to coincide with every Olympics. Obviously that hasn’t quite happened but he is satisfied and feels that a book sets its own pace. Weight Loss took him five years, but then Chatterjee is unperturbed. Asked to comment on his literary journey, he quips, “It is difficult for me to rate my own books… exactly like a parent with four children.” Yet, the first book is special to him. At the same time, he’s also very happy with the way the others turned out. Though, while re-reading The Last Burden after a gap of 10 years, he says he was surprised and taken aback at the “rage and anger” in his writing.

    Is he writing something else already? “Yes, but I don’t want to talk about it now.” Persist and he reveals, “Well, it’s really like a companion book to the last one. By companion book, I mean it’s like a spiritual book. You know what I mean… it’s about wasted lives.”

    As the shadows lengthen, Chatterjee returns to his favourite theme of dark melancholy. Is he affected? “Yes, very much so.” For him time is the boss and he cannot see how anybody can escape this sense of theinevitable.

    According to the passage, what is the dichotomy in the author’s character?

    Options :-

    1. While he is a man of few words and hardly meets people, he is verbose in the books he writes.
    2. He is a self-confessed recluse who thinks he should meet more people.
    3. He is completely averse to the idea of spirituality and yet, he has written about it exhaustively in his new book.
    4. All of the above
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