John le Carré, one of the greatest English novelists who wrote about the Cold War and later, complex geopolitics after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, died on December 12. A former British intelligence officer himself, le Carré (his real name was David Cornwell) drew upon his experience to create a world inhabited by ‘spies’, ‘moles’, ‘double agents’, ‘pavement artists’, ‘lamplighters’ among others. But what made his spy thrillers different from others, particularly the James Bond variety, was that this world was riven with moral ambiguities, uncertainties, betrayals. Le Carré’s spies weren’t glamorous, they were tired and often made compromises in a fast-changing post-War world. Ace Hindi film screenwriter Anjum Rajabali tells us how le Carré influenced him.