Rao is the author of 18 novels, plays and political essays, and although he has hitherto made no money at all from his writings, his fortunes look set to change with his latest novel Ramdas. And he writes in Hindi:
Although it is spoken by half of India's 1 billion people, its writing is absent in the literary canon of India, which is dominated by exiles such as Salman Rushdie and Vikram Seth. 'I do not read these books. They do not talk about the India I know,' says Rao. 'The stories do not mean anything to me or people like me. India lives in villages, small towns, on streets. The authors do not.'
Hmmm ... wonder if our teh tarik vendors can "pull" fictions as well as tea.