Ashis Dutta is a Bangalore-based software entrepreneur and a freelance writer for 20 years on travel, music and culture. Published in newspapers, inflight and travel magazines in India, USA and Canada.
‘Gandhi and the London Cabby’ is a collection of ten stories. The stories are based on incidents which happened during the author’s travels over decades and across diverse places and countries – from the remote Himalayas to Paris, Kashmir, Jerusalem and more. Each story is a gem, where the characters and the surroundings come alive and keep the reader hooked, often intrigued, till the last word.
Amazon India: https://amzn.eu/d/6uW6pnW
The book is available in paperback on Amazon India and in Amazon Kindle in India and across the world.
Let’s dive into the author’s insights:-
Q1. What’s your mindset on the subject matter?
Ans- I am an avid traveller (visited more than 28 countries and most of the States of India) and a travel writer for over 20 years. My travel articles and features have been published in most inflight magazines in India, in major newspapers in Southern India and Canada, and in magazines in the USA.
I keep the narrative simple and lucid and let the characters in my stories and the places come alive.
Q2. How do you define your relationship with the subject matter?
Ans- I have travelled in India and across the world, both extensively and intensively. I try to go beneath the skin of the place, drench myself in its atmosphere, eat the local food (though I can’t gulp the local brew), chat with the locals and experience, first hand, the throb and nuances of the people and the places.
My aim has been to make the reader vividly experience the journeys, the places and the people. Their tentativeness, qualms and delights.
Very often I have felt a mystical bond with the places and the people. And I try to stitch my words to bring out the sense of that bond.
Q3. What is the inspiration behind this book?
Ans- The epiphanies which culminate in many of the stories transcend both time and space. At the base, each is an intimate human story, displaying an array of emotions. Be it the profound timelessness of an old rustic village woman or the grit of subaltern labour, or the inner fragility of an independent-looking Western woman. Or even my own vulnerability, as in some of the stories.
To express, to share such intimate feelings and epiphanies has been the inspiration to write this book.
Q4. How did this book come into existence?
Ans- You never know where, when and how a story will appear in your journey. It can suddenly haul you by the collar. It did with me more than once. Or a story can sneak in stealthily. You wouldn’t know when. And you would have no idea where, through which winding path, it will take you. The romance of this uncertainty is sublime.
I have tried to capture that pulsating romance. The book is its expression.
Q5. What is the one piece of advice that you want to share with the readers?
Ans- Never take people or places to be granted. There is a hidden universe in the most mundane form, waiting to be revealed. Keep an open mind, and the treasures of a journey will reveal itself.
Amazon India Kindle: https://www.amazon.in/dp/B0CBKWRL5L
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