Every once in a while, you read a book, watch a gripping movie or a TV show; and you ask yourself the question, “Was that a true story?”
And then you spend hours googling the hell out of it. How great would it be if you could not find the answer and not be able to reach a conclusion!
As every great storyteller knows, the better you tell a story the more you make it come to life. Conversely, even if you tell a real story poorly, it will not ring true.
Let’s meet a great storyteller now.
My guest is author Sudipta Sen Gupta. She used to be a top level marketing executive turned academic, historian and author. Her debut novel is titled, Aasma-i-Noor. In Persian it loosely means A Sky of Light or even, a Universe of Light...depending on how expansive you’re feeling today.
Aasma-i-Noor is a diamond. It is a rare, red diamond that came from the Kollur mine in Golconda, the same mine that gave us the Koh-i-Noor (means Mountain Of Light) and Darya-i-Noor (meaning Sea Of Light). All great names…clearly all tributes to Total Internal Refraction.
In Sudipta’s novel, the history of this diamond is linked to the heart of the events surrounding the rise and fall of Siraj-ud-Daulah and his chief nemesis Robert Clive.
And around this time is the last anyone heard of the Aasma-i-Noor, leaving the question: was this whole bloody pivotal point in the history of India caused by the fascination of a few men for a gemstone?
Artfully, the story spills into the present day with a couple of treasure hunters in Kolkata finding clues from history to be able to locate this diamond. At this point, the novel suddenly takes on the rush of a Dan Brown thriller and I will leave the rest for you to read.
As for separating history from historical fiction, I have rarely read this done in so deft a manner.
It is every debut novelist’s aspiration that their debut novel must set the world on fire. If Aasma-i-Noor doesn’t do that, it is the fault of the world.
That said, I am privileged to have Sudipta here as my guest today.
ABOUT SUDIPTA SEN GUPTA
Sudipta Sen Gupta is an associate professor in the School of Management at GD Goenka University. After completing her graduation in physics from Presidency College, Kolkata, and MBA from Faculty of Management Studies (FMS), Delhi University, she worked in senior corporate management roles for over 20 years. She helped build multiple well-known brands and powered multinational organizations to success, winning several national and global awards and recognitions along the way. In 2017, she decided to leave the corporate world and join academics, allowing her time to complete her PhD and return to her first love—Indian history. Aasma-i-Noor: The Cursed Jewel is the result of that love.
Buy Aasma-i-Noor: https://amzn.to/3ASAYM4
WHAT'S THAT WORD?!
Co-host Pranati "Pea" Madhav joins Ramjee Chandran in "What's That Word?!", where they discuss the word "WIT: and joining them is a guest from the United States.
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