The much awaited second book by Author Deepta Roy Chakraverti, Cursed at Kedarnath & Other Stories was finally released on the 24th of March, 2017 in Oxford Bookstore Kolkata. The launch was followed by a panel whose members were the Wiccan High Priestess, Author and Chairperson of the Wiccan Brigade, Ipsita Roy Chakraverti; Publisher, Life Positive Books, Mr. Aditya Ahluwalia; Principal, South City International School, Mr. John Bagul; the author herself and Mona Sen Gupta who moderated the panel. The Welcome address of the evening was put forward by Mrs Maina Bhagat. After which, the book was officially launched in the presence of a huge audience and the panel discussion commenced.
The foreword for this book has been written by Author Ipsita Roy Chakraverti . She read the foreword at the onset of the discussion. Excerpts from which are quoted below: “But I must admit that as far as the subject of the supernatural is concerned, the Western World is far more advanced than us. They take it seriously- as seriously as the word science is taken in India. . . . . In India, Rabindranath Tagore believed in other worlds. So did the great mystic Shri Aurobindo. Who are we pygmies to say ‘No ghosts please. We’re scientific.’ Utter nonsense.. . . ’’
Mr Ahluwalia gave important insights regarding books like ‘Cursed at Kedarnath’ which might go on to create a new genre in the field of Literature. In fact, according to him as Kolkata celebrated the launch of the book, the title had actually “gone for a second print”. This is enough to let the audience know that these books are slowly carving out a niche for themselves parallel to mainstream Literature and are appreciated and read with equal enthusiasm and interest as any novel, drama or poetry. He further adds about the information vacuum created due to less factual and validated information and research conducted in the field of supernatural. This, in turn, gives rise to people moving onto various online search engines to find their answers which might not always be true and at times gives rise to superstitions . Thus, the need of the hour is to publish more books by authors like Deepta Roy Chakraverti and Ipsita Roy Chakraverti which spreads enough light on such topics backed by research and experiences which can fill in the information vacuum created in this field.
Mona Sen Gupta moved on to Mr Bagul asking him what he liked the best in the book as he himself is a man of academic background. To this he replied “As a reader and as a person of science, I feel the best thing that came across in the book is at the end of every story or narration, there is a diary entry. What I appreciate is that the diary entry at the end of each story which is not fiction is given in a different font. As a reader it becomes so simple to slip over from what you have read as a narration and then the amount of research that has gone into it. “Mr Bagul went on to say and praise the amount of scientific research that backs every narration in the book. Several researchers have been delving deep into the subject of supernatural but hardly are there any from India. Mona added that ‘ if you pick up a copy of the book and read, more than Deepta’s experiences her sharpness of mind, her research ability is amazing.’
When asked about some of the themes covered in the book, the author replied that her experiences take place in different destinations but the bulk is Kolkata based. She explained the background behind some of her case studies like the The Possession of Charulata, Voices, Weeping Child and so on. Ipsita Chakraverti then went on to explain the fact that apart from the isoteric , these stories would also appeal to the people as they have a human interest factor regarding them. The panel continued to talk about out-of body experiences, the use of mirrors as portals and so on. The launch ended with a book signing session by the author herself.
I will be soon back with a book review of Cursed at Kedarnath.