Kunal Basu, in a session with Barun Chanda and Iftekhar Ahsan, spoke about the many faces of Kolkata. I caught up with him soon afterwards to ask some burning questions. Here’s what we discussed:
In the course of the research for your book, “Kalkatta”, you saw a Kolkata within Kolkata that we don’t really see. How do you reconcile these two very different sides to the city?
Your foray into this other Calcutta has changed you, you said. Could you tell us how?
The word “intolerance” is everywhere these days. What are the kinds of intolerances you encountered while researching for this book?
You mentioned that the familiar world of the city doesn’t excite you. So what is about the unfamiliar that you like?
Do you think authors are afraid to explore these unfamiliar parts?
Writers often talk about being “struck by inspiration” to be able to write. Is that a luxury that only established authors have, or do you think young, aspiring writers too ought to wait for such a moment?
What is the most important advice you give to young authors?
Indeed, wiser words were never spoken.
Join the conversation online. #boimela