On Existential Path

‘Letters from an Indian Summer’ is the debut work of Siddharth Dasgupta and reveals his unique story telling skills. The author shares his top five reads with City Express

Published: 23rd December 2014 06:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd December 2014 06:03 AM   |  A+A-

‘On The Road’

Across a mad American landscape littered with addicted beat poets, roguishly charming criminals, endearingly dirty jazz, and addictively “loose” women, Kerouac weaves a tale so breathless and hypnotic that letting go isn’t part of the equation. “I remember pouring through it, aged 16, and then pouring through it all over again, just to try and absorb the impact of such a memorable punch to the imagination’s gut. It was a wicked, wonderful awakening, an open invitation to make friends with “the mad ones”, a direct passage to a heart hell-bent on great jazz, great sex, and great cars. It’s a feeling that hasn’t quite left me ever since,” says the author.


Tintin (the entire collection) - Hergé  “Thank you, Monsieur Hergé, for igniting a passion for wanderlust most strong and persistent,” he says.

‘The Essential Rumi’

When I was 17, my mother returned from one of her frequent trips to Turkey with a particularly unforgettable gift. It was a special edition volume of ‘The Essential Rumi’, and it one of the most beautiful things I had ever laid eyes on. With an artistic matt velvet cover, parched dull brown paper, and frayed paper edges that seemed to keep time with the words, this was a book I was afraid to even pick up for the first couple of weeks, lest I spoil its beauty. It took me another few months to get into the slipstream of Rumi’s words. But once I did, there was no stopping the streams of ecstasy and purity that flowed through me and within me,” he says.

‘Letters From An Indian Summer’

It’s a wonderful debut novel that portrays the love story between Arjun Bedi, an Indian photographer, and Genevieve Casta, a French artist.  While exploring a city hitherto unexplored in Indian fiction (Poona), the book also spreads itself across a global canvas of cities, memories, encounters, and spiritual epiphanies-be it in Kathmandu or Istanbul or Dubai. There is a strong spiritual undercurrent running through these journeys that Arjun and Genevieve undertake, sometimes together and sometime alone, an undercurrent which usually manifests itself through their explorations of the world around them in all its spiritual and sensual glory, and through their complete surrender to the randomness of wanderlust.  Letters from an Indian Summer is published by Fingerprint. “Google it. You’ll figure out. And then you’ll forgive me this childish arrogance, I’m pretty young,” he clarifies.

‘Twenty Love Poems & A Song Of Despair’

This was another teenage awakening. At 19, Neruda’s fierce lashings of the heart were a mind-blowing window to the possibilities of expression, to the wonders of the language (even when translated), and to the beauty of bodily ecstasy. “Even if I wasn’t able to fully grasp the entire resonance of his words or the profundity of his poetry at the time, the Chilean poet had awoken a layer of sensuality that nothing but the most sublime words can hope to create. That ragged, thin copy, with its stark black and white cover, remains one of my most cherished assets,” he says.


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