By Amrita Paul
For Koral Dasgupta, a professor of Management studies, her first book, The Power of a Common Man (2014) which analyses Shah Rukh Khan’s growth to megastardom, from a consumer point of view, was a result of a simple observation. That Bollywood and films are a domain that affects all and youngsters especially are interested to be part of most conversations that involve the industry which has glamour, entertainment and business intertwined like no other.
analyses Shah Rukh Khan’s growth to megastardom, from a consumer point of view
She says, “I started picking up case studies from Bollywood to get students interested in the class so that they would talk, brainstorm and debate about what’s being discussed. I could also have picked up an example in sports, say of Sachin Tendulkar, but then there would be a slight chance that a certain section of the class which doesn’t follow cricket wouldn’t engage in the conversation.
“But when I start researching and pulling out more case studies on Shah Rukh and corroborating with media reports, I realised that it could be interesting to write a book on the sheer brand image and business acumen of a man who never ceases to fade out of our minds even if he hasn’t had a film release in the longest of time.”
Koral, who studied Economics at Shantiniketan in West Bengal adds that she didn’t get in touch with the actor’s team while writing the book because adding personal anecdotes would make the book biased as she was trying to gauge Shah Rukh Khan from a consumer’s point of view.
With The Power of a Common Man receiving acclaim by readers, Koral has also released a second novel, Fall Winter Collection, in the literary fiction genre, exploring a story which has been in her mind for quite some time.
“Studying in a town as culturally vibrant and picturesque as Shantiniketan, I often set out to explore the place on a bicycle and the beautiful environment there prompted me to write about it all through my college days. And that’s how the story about a sculptor and his romantic journey, Fall Winter Collection, fell into place,” she informs.
Koral’s next book will also be a work of fiction in the art and culture space, documenting the life of a Bharatanatyam dancer.
Both the books happened at an important juncture in Koral’s life, when she had just conceived her son. She says, “I realised that once my child was born, I needed to compartmentalise so that I can work as well as spend as much time at home. So I started freelancing instead of working full-time as an academician, writing columns for various media portals, in fact I wrote my first book during my pregnancy.”
Koral’s next book will also be a work of fiction in the art and culture space, documenting the life of a Bharatanatyam dancer. And for someone as prolific as her, “writer’s block” just seems to be an overused word.
“In every profession, there are both good and bad days, so I don’t believe in the phrase as much. It’s true that some days I will be in the right frame of mind to get the writing done, and some days I won’t, but that’s all there is to it,” she says.
In parting, Koral gives one important message to upcoming writers. She adds, “Write for your own happiness and not to be able to sell a book. Yes, it’s important that what you write reaches its desired audience, but when you are writing, do just that, you can think about the commercial aspect later. That is, once you are convinced that you have written something which resonates with you, before anyone else.”