Rana Dasgupta: From The 15 Year Platform Archive

Photography: Radhika Iyengar

Rana Dasgupta: From The 15 Year Platform Archive

Rana Dasgupta

A few years after midnight, it didn’t take all that long, the children grew up and gave birth to new issues. Rana Dasgupta is among the most gifted of midnight’s grandchildren. Through his voice we witness the passage of time. The grandchildren are different from the children. No more are they torn about their “identity”. They know (and maybe their fathers knew this too, but experienced it differently) that homes must be built and found, just as Rana found Delhi. It is not a question of speaking from or for Delhi, but of living there. Friends of Rana’s know that his presence makes the home more beautiful. The grandchildren are less preoccupied with East-West, master-slave dialectics. This is not to say they are unconcerned with the world and their inheritance of it. Rana investigates three legacies. The first is an expandable global stock of stories. Chaucer, Ramanujan, Murakami and Musil rub shoulders with one another, press against the text, and yet it doesn’t feel derivative in the least. The second legacy is the twentieth century, a dramatic and destructive and admirable century, in comparison to which ours, culturally speaking, is a pale shadow. Or maybe it is early days yet. And the third legacy, which both attracts and repels the grandchildren, is the global circulation, the ebbs and flows, the violence and beauty of capital. None of these three rivers, which flow through Rana, show any signs of aridity.

This was initially published in our Literature Icons issue of 2015 and we are revisiting it as a part of our Celebrating 15 years of Platform Magazine series.

Text Bhrigupati Singh