India Masala

Bollywood and culture in an emerging India

Of Amitav Ghosh, Bollywood and opium


I wish someone would make a movie on the “Sea of Poppies.”

Amitav Ghosh’s latest novel has all the right ingredients for a film set in 19th century India — runaway lovers, a bankrupt Raja, anti-British sentiment, a white woman masquerading as an Indian peasant and a huge ship sailing down the Ganges.

Author Amitav GhoshBut Ghosh is unconvinced.

“It’ll be very difficult. Will need a lot of special effects,” says the 52-year-old writer.

Ghosh just smiles. The silver-haired author, one of India’s best known novelists writing in English, is more affable than I had imagined.

There had been offers from Bollywood for two of his books — “The Hungry Tide” (2004) and “The Calcutta Chromosome” (1995) — but the projects fizzled out.