Sayantan Ghosh is an editor by day, and a writer by night. He’s also the author of Who Needs Cupid? The Truly Madly Guide to Dating. We asked him to what are the books he is looking forward to read on Juggernaut:
#Caste is Not a Rumour by Rohith Vemula
Caste has plagued our country long before any of us reading this book was born. But Rohith’s untimely and unfortunate death went beyond caste, questioning the very structure of our democracy and the room for dissent in it. It was during his protest that virulent terms like ‘anti-national’ started appearing in the mainstream and was thrown around casually by anybody who did not agree with him or his supporters. His name featured regularly during the mayhemic nature in which events later unfolded in JNU and elsewhere. Since we won’t have Rohith anymore to actually write a book, reading his independent thoughts collected as a whole is perhaps the closest we can get to knowing what triggered him to lead such a movement and ultimately end his life.
The Nawab of the Republic by Rajdeep Sardesai
‘Tiger’ Pataudi was, and remains, my mother’s favourite cricketer. It had more to do with how he carried himself on the pitch than his flick shots, and I am not stereotyping here, I promise. His was a celebrated career filled with drama, what with the car accident where he lost one of his eyes which convinced everyone that his cricketing career was over. Everyone but him. He not only came back to the nets, padded and ready to face the fiercest bowlers in business, but also was the youngest Indian captain ever, winning the Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1968. What’s not to love about his forthcoming biography?
Speculative fiction is such an underrated and underutilized genre in India that any fresh attempt at reinventing the space sounds very exciting to me personally. It’s lamentable since we belong to a land of folklore that was passed on orally, with stories about the mysterious unknown, about the dark, dangerous past, of ichhadhari nagins and shape-shifting demon-gods. Mimi’s stories have appeared in several international journals and I have had the opportunity to read a few. And they have only made me keenly look forward to her new collection.
The Dunwich Horror by H.P. Lovecraft
Lovecraft created a world which he not only believed in, but also possibly inhabited inside his head. His commercial failure as a writer isolated him from the outside world, and he almost became a mythical creature himself; there were stories about how he only went out of his house after sundown. As a literary horror writer, there’s still no one who can match Lovecraft’s terrifying vision, including Stephen King. And if The Call of Cthulhu was any indication, then The Dunwich Horror sounds like the perfect recipe for locking oneself up on a stormy afternoon with some bitter coffee at hand and then surrender to Lovecraft’s magic.
Detours: Songs of the Open Road by Salil Tripathi
A travel book that goes beyond the ‘21 places to see before you die’ form of clickbait journalism and sounds more like a layered narrative interspersed with history, politics, culture as well as personal anecdotes. An excerpt from the book titled ‘Getting drunk – or not – at Hemingway’s favourite bar in Barcelona’ was published online earlier this year, and if the rest of the book is even half as delightful as the excerpt, then I will have no reason to complain.