"On the one hand, there is a landing on the moon and on the other, we haven't been able to feed all the people on the earth." This is Gunter Grass, the Nobel laureate writer, speaking in a recent discussion held in Kolkata organised by Max Muller Bhaban and the the Telegraph.
I've been a Grass fan ever since I read his Tin Drum. Oscar was such a loveable character, and he captivated me completely. But what was strange for me, I never felt inclined to read any of his other works. Somehow I knew Tin Drum is his best work, and he would never ever able to write anything better than this.
But I've kept following Grass through his other activities. Grass is an activist writer, and incredibly vocal against any kind of injustice anywhere is the world. He calls George W. Bush a war-criminal, and calls for resistance to single-power domination to gain an equal footing in negotiation.
But he's not a leftist either. " The leftists are taking us nowhere, but we need them because they talk about poverty," he said in an interview recently.
Gunter Grass is now in Kolkata, the city to which he has been mentally attached for a long time.