Dik­sha Basu

Her jour­ney into writ­ing may have been “com­pletely un­planned”, but once in it, there was no look­ing back.

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There are peo­ple who be­lieve in the hit-and-try method, and Dik­sha Basu is one of them. The first thing you no­tice about this ac­tor-turnedau­thor is her bright and vi­va­cious smile. Hail­ing from the National Cap­i­tal, Dik­sha Basu was “helped by a se­ries of happy in­ci­dents” be­fore she en­vi­sioned she wanted to be an author. “I told my­self I could do it for the rest of my life only when I re­alised I could hide be­hind a com­puter in my pa­ja­mas all day long.” With a dou­ble ma­jor in Eco­nomics and French from Cor­nell Univer­sity, New York, Dik­sha was strug­gling with an ur­ban iso­la­tion in NYC and try­ing her hand at a bit of act­ing when she de­cided to turn back to­wards the In­dian shores. It was in Mum­bai then, that she dis­cov­ered writ­ing. “It took me a while to find some­thing I re­ally loved do­ing. I was do­ing the­atre in Mum­bai when I started pub­lish­ing short pieces here and there and found that my hy­per­bolic sto­ries were be­gin­ning to read like a novel. My writ­ing, then, be­came an out­let for my fail­ure as an ac­tor and, in ret­ro­spect, I couldn’t be hap­pier about that fail­ure!” Her first book, Open­ing Night was re­leased this month by Harper­collins In­dia, and is the story of Naiya Ka­pur, a Prince­ton Univer­sity grad­u­ate who comes to Mum­bai to chase her big In­dian dream of Bol­ly­wood, a world that has al­ways en­thralled Dik­sha, too. The book, she says, is an en­gag­ing read. “I place a great de­gree of im­por­tance on writ­ing that en­ter­tains. In read­ing, I look more for the sto­ry­teller than the crafts­man.” Open­ing Night is only the be­gin­ning of Dik­sha’s au­thorly dreams. “I’ve got a draft of a sec­ond book that still needs to be edited, so I’m try­ing to fin­ish that soon. I’m also start­ing an in­tern­ship at the New Yorker next month and I’m very ex­cited about that. The of­fice is at Times Square and I’m told that the cafe­te­ria alone will make the job worth­while.”

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