Much like the protagonist of his novel, The Saga of Shom and Raima, Tapan Ghosh lives a double life. A Bombay-based engineer, entrepreneur and patent holder in his professional capacity, he seeks salvation in writing, and making short films. The Bengali name is his tribute to Calcutta; the city of his growing-up years.
After Faceless – The Only Way Out and An Anglo-Indian in Love, The Saga of Shom & Raima is third novel by Tapan Ghosh published by Become Shakespeare. Flirting with life – as he describes his approach to existence – fuels his creative output.
TBE: How did you come up with the idea for The Saga of Shom and Raima?
Tapan Ghosh: It’s not an idea but about my journey starting from the mid-1950s, in Calcutta, the ‘City of Joy.’ Most of the book is based in Bombay and climaxes in Calcutta. However, the story continues and will be published soon in a book called ‘My Swapna.’
TBE: You write about some heavy themes—things that many of your readers have probably never experienced—yet it’s very easy to identify with your characters. How do you make them so relatable?
Tapan Ghosh: Very simple, I lived the lives of some of the characters and others I know I care about.
TBE: I remember reading and reviewing The Saga of Shom and Raima and how different this book felt to me after I first read it — how wonderful it was, of course, because I loved it so much … but it felt intimate and raw in a way that differed from other romance novels. In the book you explored the complexities of a troubled marriage. Did it feel different for you while you were writing it? What did you hope to explore?
Tapan Ghosh: I felt the life I explored, and it’s an ongoing process when you want to live every moment to the fullest.
TBE: What was the most challenging part of writing this story?
Tapan Ghosh: Expressing my feelings, the words are not sufficient to do so. Storytelling is best done through body language.
TBE: Love, guilt, and the quest to understand are big themes within this book. What drew you to write about them?
Tapan Ghosh: The understanding that tells me to live the truth at the cost of speaking a lie.
TBE: How do you see the relationship between Shom & Raima and Shom & Harry?
Tapan Ghosh: In the Saga Of Shom and Raima, Harry is the author and a love guru and a sort of life-guide for Raima and Shom, his intimate friends and disciples.
TBE: What message do you hope people will take away from this book?
Tapan Ghosh: Life is a tight rope walk; enjoy the journey by balancing your soul and mind.
TBE: Which books would you recommend for someone who enjoyed ‘The Saga of Shom and Raima’?
Tapan Ghosh: I would certainly recommend the novella titled ‘An Anglo Indian in Love.’ Currently available for the fiction readers!
TBE: What advice can you offer to aspiring writers?
Tapan Ghosh: I would advise them not to get entangled in the genre’s conflicts and listen to themselves. The expressions are most beautiful and meaningful when they come straight from within, pure and raw.