What would you do if you keep running into one person again and again? That’s what the protagonists of first-time author Anupam Dasgupta’s book Salsa do. After a run-in at a pub Vihaan and Mitali meet eight years later. And keep bumping into each other again and again.
Originally intended to be a short story, Dasgupta’s Salsa is the story of two people who are pushed together at every turn in their lives. After the initial run-in they get married, divorced, settle in their careers and generally grow older and wiser when they run into each other again. Vihaan is a friendly outgoing guy trying to make sense of his life and Mitali is a lonely, jet-setting professional who needs some stability. But fate seems to have other things in store for them – like salsa classes.
The story, based heavily on the author’s own experiences with coincidental run-ins, is in the form of a short novelette. The theme ‘it’s a small world’ recurs throughout the book, a static, unsaid reminder whenever the lead pair bump into each other. The added element of salsa dancing peps up the tone of the book, though. “Salsa, as a dance and a sauce, is a spicy thing.
The characters spice up their lives with a little bit of dancing and at the same time, discover something about themselves,” says the Chennai-based Dasgupta, an IIM graduate and a salsa dancer himself.
The book’s language is simple and the book is slim – a fun read that is perfect for those short flights. The book’s grammar and punctuation, on the other hand, could have been handled better. Every other sentence punctuated with several dots instead of a full stop tends to get on one’s nerves.
For his next book though, the author has several cards up his sleeve. “I have several story ideas, but they are all in short story format. I will work on them and hopefully, they will turn into full-length stories, like Salsa,” he says.