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