Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Nosy Interview: V.V. Ganeshananthan

V.V. in NGC 3132: The Southern Ring Nebula, © Hubble Legacy Archive, ESA, NASA

Sugi and I have met in person fewer times than I would like, but she dramatically improves the quality of my Internet experience with her intelligence and insight, and has been doing so since before we ever met, when a mutual friend pointed me towards her harrowing and beautiful essay, "The Politics of Grief," in Granta. Allow her to her improve your reading life by following her @vasugi on Twitter and buying her novel, Love Marriage

What do you smell like? 
Varieties of perfume, food, spices, and caffeine that depend on the moment and the country.

Caffeine: black Ceylon tea with milk; Bru instant coffee with milk; a soy latte from Comet Coffee; a soy latte from Mighty Good Coffee; spicy hot chocolate.

Food and spices: brioche; strawberries; curry powder; chili powder; mustard seed; fennel seed; fenugreek; cumin seed; crushed red pepper; freshly ground black pepper; cinnamon; ginger; recently consumed cookies and dark chocolate. (Probably sometimes all at once.)

Perfume: amber; jasmine; stargazer lilies; white ginger; lemon verbena; lemon and sugar soap; Rani sandalwood soap; rosewater. (Hopefully never all at once!)

And the miscellany: clean laundry; soccer or tennis or gym sweat; a certain Hindu temple and its holy ash; airplanes and airports.

What do you like to smell? 
A new can of tennis balls. Sweet potato fries. Pizza. The generous and gentle little cheeks of children to whom I am related. The turf of an indoor soccer field. Baseball fields. Parks. Grass. Mangoes. Ginger. Oil of Olay and Chanel No. 5. Yardley’s powder: jasmine and English lavender. An English garden I know in Harrow. Reed’s or Blenheim’s ginger ale, spicy. Cookies, called biscuits. A warm Zingerman's ginger scone. Hazelnuts. Snow. Panikkaipaniyaram, which is a kind of sugared donut made with the pulp of a fruit. Shrimp curry. Crab curry. Chicken curry. Curry. Koththu roti. Thosai. Books. Rain. Tiger balm. Espresso-based beverages. Head and Shoulders shampoo. Clean pillows.

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