An author, professor, entrepreneur and painter, Koral Dasgupta says that unknown faces tell her stories. Which is how the face of someone she had only just met, inspired the story of the protagonist in the book Rasia: The Dance of Desire. A man who has two women waiting for him on two different ends of the crossroads. And he can’t walk on one unless he has discovered the other.
She says, “With the vague idea of a protagonist, a man who is extremely attractive and extremely flawed at multiple levels, I started writing. The story moved by its own like a boat sails on the river with the passing air. Whenever I got stuck with the plot, I thought of the face again, and could visualize eventually, what should come next.”
Koral had a culturally active childhood in Kolkata, reading books beyond the syllabus and learning classical music. Her parents exposed her to theatres and recitals of classical music and dance. She wasn’t allowed to watch films. Later when she started studying in Shantiniketan, her hunger for books, art and culture got a further boost. She feels that reflects in her work.
She also runs the website #TellMeYourStory. Does working on a story-telling website help in her personal writing process?
“There are times when some of the stories on #TellMeYourStory are so touching and beautiful, that I feel too small as a writer. And hence, there is an urge to work better, learn more, push the envelope further. Every author of #TellMeYourStory is an inspiration for me as I get to know various perspectives of life from all of them,” she adds.
Koral admits she has lost count of how many permutations and combinations she had applied to give the story its deserving structure.
The author says she had to research extensively to ensure the accuracy of the technical details. Which was exhausting. Since one of the characters is an NRI based in Manhattan, representing her correctly was another challenge. She had to walk beyond her Indian sensibilities to get the nuances right. The third challenge was the presentation of the story. Koral admits she has lost count of how many permutations and combinations she had applied to give the story its deserving structure.
The author also adds that entrepreneurship is not just about creating an ecosystem, but it also brings forth a huge bag of responsibilities.
But who are the authors that inspire and inform her work? There are too many to name, she says, adding, “But if you open my bag or spot me sitting alone somewhere, chances are high that you will find a Devdutt Pattanaik book there.”
The author also adds that entrepreneurship is not just about creating an ecosystem, but it also brings forth a huge bag of responsibilities. “That is when you cease to operate just for yourself, but work for and with a collective force supporting each other for something or the other. That’s like a family beyond family. Being loved and respected in an extended family is phenomenally empowering.”
Her advice to aspiring writers is to simply learn the correct language, and not let the menace of abbreviations and SMS terms spoil their vocabulary.
Koral’s advice to aspiring writers is to simply learn the correct language, and not let the menace of abbreviations and SMS terms spoil their vocabulary. She hopes that they observe a lot, silently, without being in a hurry to react – “you have no idea how powerful this medium is in inspiring your creativity.”
For now, taking #TellMeYourStory ahead is the author’s future plan. To give wings to more authors, so they find love and peace in literature.
She says, “To ensure that reading and writing doesn’t become the intellectual luxury of a counted few, but is spread as a habit and received as a passion. This is my identity, my life, the air I breathe and the beats of my heart.”
When it comes to books, writing Rasia: The Dance of Desire has been a very demanding process. I will attempt a comedy next. Not that writing a comedy is any easier, but I have an eye for comic reliefs available even at most mundane moments. It comes naturally to me. So hoping it to be a feather-couch for me as an author.”