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People Who Meet People - Interviews With The Stars

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People Who Meet People - Interviews With The Stars
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Item Code: NAP183
Author: Swapan K. Banerjee
Publisher: Tranquebar Press
Language: English
Edition: 2014
ISBN: 9789384030551
Pages: 485
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details: 8.5 inch X 5.5 inch
weight of the book: 505 gms
About The Book

People Who Meet People is an amazing anthology of uncommon interviews of the finest spread and variety. Each of these interviews is a specimen of meaningful dialogue that makes for compulsive reading.

Here the interviewer expertly induces his subjects, both national and international, to launch into freewheeling conversation with unusual depth and perception. His empathetic and probing questions have sparked these occupants of the artistic firmament to intimately and animatedly talk about that part of their lives which usually remains under the lid.

All of these tete-a-tetes carry befitting codas, most of which are interesting observations on the interviews made by discerning readers.

None of the pieces was sent by the interviewer to his subjects for vetting. He took it entirely upon himself to execute this thought-provoking undertaking (forty-nine personalities from the world of writing, music, cinema, dance and painting are showcased here)—a marvellous achievement in the canon of interview as an art form.

Swapan Banerjee gives equal prominence in this volume to some obscure yet highly deserving people who have never before been brought to the limelight. Spontaneous, no-holds-barred conversations with the greats and the to-be-greats make this book an armchair favourite.

About The Author

Swapn K. Banerjee is a freelance writer specialising in literary features. Listed twice in the Dictionary of International Biography (A Biographical Record of Contemporary Achievement). Cambridge, England , he realized his calling as a writer when Padma Shri Ruskin Bond sent his interviews, among other write-ups, to Boston University’s Special Collection Library. Since then, true to his calling, Banerjee has interviewed have been published in major dailies.

Swapan K. Banerjee is well-known internationally for his best-selling book Rusty & 1: Up-close with Ruskin Bond (Rupa). The book has found a home in the World Congress Library, Singapore National Library and Delhi Parliament others. Banerjee holds a Diploma in Creative Writing in English, Post-Graduate Diploma in journalism Diploma in French and a PhD. In English Literaure.

Swapan K. Banerjee is employed in State Bank of India, Kolkata Module. Bengal Circle.


Tonight as the kill moon rises and a Did-you-do-it cries at my window. I think of the poet Basho some hundreds of years ago hobbling halfway across Japan just to watch such a moonrise over a certain peak. Basho slept rough, woke, and stumbled on, looking at the world as he went, a servant to carry his luggage. The night of the Rill moon he found an overcast sky.

I think also of Swapan K. Banerjee resting his sore feet on ilk. banks of the Hooghly after one of his journeys across the country in search of an elusive beauty I know he has just finished one because he called in a short while before he caught the Doon Express back to Howrah. Years ago, and again a year or two later, he made such a journey to meet me. Each time he leaves I marvel at the spirit of the man.

Consider for a moment, in this age of expense accounts and plum assignments, a single day in Swapan's journey His train arrives in the valley at eight in the morning after the long haul from Kolkata. He makes his phone calls and catches a bus up the hill to meet Ruskin Bond. He must be back in time to have tea with Nayantara Sahgal. As always he is careful to arrive before time. (He once waited, he confessed, in the scorching sun outside my gate.)

Today his reward is to be drenched in a thundershower. The interview over, his clothes drying on him, lie travels clear across town to ask me to write a Foreword. He has just time for dinner before he climbs back on the Howrah Express. He has to be back at work the next day. No newspaper has paid his fare, no publisher promised to publish his interviews. Think only of the time spent in a queue at the railway booking office! And yet he has done this cheerfully not once, not twice, but a dozen times—and that is just to this valley. In the last few years Swapan has spread his net over the whole country.

If ever you know of a species of wandering bird in want of a name, remember this peregrine Banerjee. Remember these pages where you first heard it cry.


Swapan K. Banerjee is the ideal interviewer. He keeps a low profile, is most reticent about himself, is gentle and sympathetic in his approach, and is fully aware that most writers and other artistes have large egos and are only too ready to talk about themselves to someone who won't interrupt!

Swapan K. Banerjee is the perfect listener. And he knows how to draw you out. He does not provoke. He does not offend. He is not out to write a sensational story. Slowly and sympathetically he gains your confidence, and as a result you find yourself saying far more than you had intended.

A 'literary traveller' is perhaps how I would describe Mr Banerijee. He travels widely and seeks out men of letters or musicians or others who have made a mark in their field.

He is a Boswell of sorts—a Boswell not just to one writer, such as a Dr Johnson, but to many writers. He hunts them down with a single-minded determination, charm, and 'gentle persuasion'. He breaks down their resistance and in the process he brings out their outlook on life and literature, their way of life, working methods, likes, dislikes and fallibilities.

This book doesn't really need an introduction. It is in itself an introduction to each of his subjects. Suffice to say that Indian writing needs more Boswells of the Swapan K. Banerjee kind.


Foreword by I. Allan Seal xi
Introduction by Ruskin Bond xiii
Author's note xiv
In Conversations With  
Khuswant singh 1
David Davidar 14
Victor Banerjee 23
Nergis Dalal 34
Cheluram Jaipal 45
Namita Gokhale 51
Ustad Bismillah Khan 68
Ruskin Bond 76
Pandit Buddhadev Dasgupta 99
Jayanta Mahapatra 107
Neela Venkatraman 120
Nayantra Sahgal 126
Kala Ramnath 142
Hugh & Colleen Gantzer 147
Sampurna Chatterji 156
K. Ullas Karnath 163
I. Allan Sealy 171
Pandit Bhajan Sopori 201
Bill Aitken 209
Sudhir Thapliyal 230
Pandit Jasraj 237
Anita Nair 245
Bruce Berger 260
Ken Zuckerman 270
Shiv. K. Kumar 275
Shankar Patil 291
Arvind Krishna Mehrotra 297
Amit Chaudhuri 308
Pandit Swapan Chowdhury 320
Manoj Das 328
Kate Harris 347
Mulk Raj Anand 353
Ajeet Gaur 362
Gretel Ehlrich 370
Gieve Patel 377
Sheela Jaywant 386
Eric Fraser & Steve Gorn 393
Ganesh Saili 399
Stephen Alter 416
Ustad Shahid Pervej 426
Shamini Flint 432
Paro Anand 438
Bidushi Kishori Amonkar 449
Shobhaa De 454
Taslima Nasreen 460
Ehren Hanson & Camila Celin 471


Sample Pages

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