Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
Life is all about striking a balance. That’s what I do. Balance work with things that excite me. Not that work doesn’t. An engineer by qualification, my passion for work has driven me to be an entrepreneur, a pioneer in my field and a patent holder as well.
But, as they say, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Very true, because I get bored easily. The adventure seeker in me learnt to fly a plane (I hold a private pilot license) and shoot. Both, with a camera and a gun. I hold a license for three weapons. I also like to shoot balls. Football, hockey, tennis or golf, I have played them all.I am attached to dogs too, having bred German Shepherds and Dobermans.
I live life to the fullest, always looking to doing things I have not done before. All my learning comes from doing, not merely reading.I flirt with life without getting attached to anything in particular. The creative side of me seeks expression in writing scripts, some of which have been made into short films.
One of these scripts lost its way and ended up being published as a novel, ‘Faceless – The Only Way Out’. Friends tell me that there is a bit of me in it. Perhaps! Because, what is creativity but an expression of the creator? And expression comes when you feel the experience, not merely live it.
‘An Anglo-Indian in Love’ is my second major attempt at story-writing. It is my tribute to Calcutta; the city I cherish, a place of which I have the fondest of memories. I have written several short stories too. You can find these on tapanghosh.com.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
‘An Anglo-Indian in Love’ draws heavily from the influences and experiences of my growing years.
I am a child of Partition, having been born on a train travelling from the newly-formed Pakistan to India. The trauma of the division of the country reverberated through the 1950s. I still remember much of what happened in Calcutta during the turbulent 1950s which were my early years.
I studied at the coeducational missionary school, ‘Our Lady Queen of Mission' which features in my story. The guys on motorcycles and the pretty girls are not a figment of imagination. They were real but the times were such that it all seemed so magical.
Dilip dada came into my life when we moved from Ripon Street to Park Circus. We stayed in the same building. I was ten and Dilip was eight years older. We were friends despite the age difference. Dilip dada took great care of me, assuming the role of an elder brother I never had. Given his larger-than-life persona, I considered him my godfather.
And how can I forget the Anglo-Indians! Despite their small number, they made their presence felt everywhere. I was greatly impressed by their style and culture. They stood out for their features, especially the women.
All these influences compelled me to write this story. But, at the end of it all, ‘An Anglo-Indian in Love’ is for Becky, my 16-year old Anglo-Indian neighbour in Park Circus. It has been over half a century but never have I come across a girl as beautiful.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
I write while lying down in bed or in airport lounges waiting for a flight. This may sound paradoxical but I always use my iPhone to write.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Charles Dickens, Robert Louis Stevenson, James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, Ian Fleming, Tennessee Williams, Harold Robbins and Harold Pinter are some of the authors whose writings have impressed me.
What are you working on now?
A book of quotes. Two, in fact.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Different methods and platforms serve different purposes. There is no one best way.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
When you give time be there early, but not a minute late. It came from my father when I was growing up.
What are you reading now?
I look for inspiration for my stories in current events. Reading newspapers is the best way to stay connected to the world at large.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Making films based on the stories I have written. I plan to transition from writer to screenplay writer.
What is your favorite book of all time?
I would rather read the scripture within me. Most of us go through life without doing so.