Anandajit Goswami is a social scientist and has got a Masters in International Trade and Economics from JNU with a specialization in Development Economics, Advanced Trade Theories, Labour Economics, Resource Economics, Environmental Economics and Investment Finance. He has a PhD in Energy Economics and Policy from TERI School of Advanced Studies. He has led South-South Cooperation projects by being based out of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) at Addis Ababa. He has recently come out with the fictional book “Pink Gender: The Story of a man, a woman and a dream”, which is a crime thriller. He has also authored and edited many sci-fi, research and academic books. In a candid chat with CHIRDEEP MALHOTRA, he talks about his latest book, his writing journey, the complex characters of the book, and much more. Read on!
Please tell us more about Anandajit Goswami as a person.
Anandajit Goswami is like a fiction stuck between multifarious binary identities of True and False.
Has writing always been a part of your life? Or did you chance upon it later on and then instantly fell in love with it?
I have always been writing in my vernacular language- Bengali. However, I never wrote to become an author using the medium of English. Once I found the rhythm and melody to express it in this form I started doing it. As a process, I invented the act of falling in
love with it.
Can you tell us more about your book “Pink Gender”?
I observed several events around me and tried to fictionalise settings and contexts to create a – “Willing Suspension of Disbelief” by readers for certain plots surrounding gender neutrality enmeshed with a plot of thriller and hence “Pink” was born. The story is about three people- a man, a woman, and a transgender who wait in the counseling room without even knowing how their lives are interconnected with an event of watching the film “PINK” in the same theatre, on the same day and in the same show. Their stories and mysteries unfold in the counseling room of the police station and a connecting link between their stories is established. This story is all about these magical mysteries of life which are unexplained in their own ways and how they get more revealed when three lives with different sexual and gender orientations criss-cross each other in a police investigation in the police counseling room.
You have written sci-fi and academic books, and with this book
have delved into crime fiction. How did the idea of writing this
book come about?
As I said, I have been engaged in the process of observing the world
stuck in between the binaries of truth and false in the realm of
gender neutrality and hence this book was born.
In terms of the complexity of the character and the nuances of the
dialogues, the character development of whom was the most
difficult in this book?
These characters are of Aman, Ravi Paul and Paoli. Aman had at least
two different shades in his character along with a subversive hidden
dark side which rose out of his vulnerability and transformed to a
violent oppressive sexual behaviour. This transformation was difficult
to outline. The extraordinary capability of breaking social taboos and
setting oneself into the red light mirror of flesh trade by a very so
called ordinary human being like Ravi Paul was also challenging.
Paoli's transition from a simple suburban town girl to a woman who
can use gender politics was also quite a journey.
What, according to you, the recipe to a perfect crime thriller?
There is no recipe. One has to create a rhythm in the plot and the rhythm should be in sync with the context and horizontal and vertical expansion of characters and the plot. It is very plot and context-specific. There is no general recipe. The same seven notes can create different melodies: it’s just like that.
What are your favourite books? Can you share with our esteemed readers about the genres that you like and your favourite authors?
I don’t have any favourite books. I read each and everything that comes on my way. As you have seen I try to express myself through academic publications, reference books, sci-fi books, blogs, articles, music, and sports. The crux is no favoritism. I am stuck in a wormhole of binaries within truth and false and all books and genres and readings are a way to feel, absorb and express while being stuck in that wormhole.
Having led movements and written books on economic policy, environmental protection and having a degree in Environmental Economics and Energy Economics, what is your idea of sustainable development?
Sustainable development, to me, is a collective dream which is stuck in an unending time loop just like Bach's musical offering to King Frederick. Development will only sustain and be sustainable when the mind is fearless, free and the feet are rooted strongly into soil of multicultural complexity.
What are your other interests apart from writing?
My other interests include Innovative pedagogies in class lectures, music composition, singing, painting, watching and analysing cinema frames, playing cricket, football and swimming, and research on sports and sustainability.
There are many new writers and poets who are aspiring to get their work published. What would you say to them?
Keep on writing and knocking doors.
Can you share with our readers a motivational quote that keeps you going?
The tagline of a book that I am currently reading “All the light we cannot see”