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The bookish side of Rahul Bose

The daring Rahul Bose, the actor known for doing the “unmentionable” on screen, the National Rugby player, flushed with very recent victory over Pakistan was found in a very different mood at the Taj in Delhi at the launch of Amitav Ghosh’s ‘Sea of Poppies’.

The bookish side of Rahul Bose
Smita Mishra & Shivangi Singh The daring Rahul Bose, the actor known for doing the “unmentionable” on screen, the National Rugby player, flushed with very recent victory over Pakistan was found in a very different mood at the Taj in Delhi at the launch of Amitav Ghosh’s ‘Sea of Poppies’. This time neither sports, nor acting seemed to be on his mind. Reading out randomly from the book and relishing every bit of the intellectual air, which seemed to ooze from the precincts of ‘Longchamp’, Rahul spoke to us at length about his passion for books, his friendship with Amitav and the future of Rugby. Q. What’s special about Amitav that you are here to inaugurate his ‘Sea of Poppies’? A. There are a very few writers who would give you scholarly writing. Variety is what I admire in Amitav’s works. Amitav refuses to be typified. His portrayal is such that you tend to fall in love with his characters. While reading Amitav, you become a part of the joys, sorrows, pain and delight of his characters. Apart from that, I know Amitav from the past 8 years. He is such an amazing man. Whenever we go out- holidays, parties or just a dinner- he asks about my films, Rugby but never mentions about himself. He is such a humble guy. I often wonder- here is a great man sitting in front of me and talking Q. What did you like in ‘Sea of Poppies’? A. Well, I think it is a sensational book. Amitav has combined beautifully history, drama, pathos and reality to weave this amazing saga. He has touched that aspect of history in ‘Sea of Poppies’, which hitherto remained untouched by the colonial historians. Q. Which is your favourite character in Sea of Poppies? A. Deeti because she exemplifies courage. She is always fighting for what she thinks is right. She dares to take hard decisions in life. She is brave and difficult. She is the perfect daughter, wife, sister, lover- everything a man needs in his woman. Q. What’s the USP of Amitav’s books and which do you like the most? A. Humanness - that’s the best thing. Vulnerability of man, essence of life is infused in them. Among all his books, my favourite is ‘Circle of Reason’ - for purely personal reasons. It is Amitav’s first book that I read. Then, I was younger and saw things in a different way. ‘Hungry Tide’ is also close to my heart. There are so many writers in the world, but the passion, conviction, research and madness of Amitav is rare. Q. If his works are made into films, would you act in them? Which of his characters would you like to play most? A. I am dying to act in film made from his book. I am so fond of Amitav’s works that no acting proposal would be better than this. In fact I want all his books to be made into films! I would love to play the role of ‘Alu’ of ‘Circle of Reason’. Q. What kind of books you like to read? A. I am an avid reader and read almost all kinds of books. But yes, I thoroughly dislike crime fiction ad never read them! Q. Who are your favourite authors? A. Quite a few of them actually- Hemmingway, Arundhati Roy, Shakespeare, Salman Rushdie… Q. Tell us something about Rahul ‘Rugby’ Bose? A. We’ve had our best initial performance yesterday (Sunday). We defeated Pakistan in the world cup. We faced the best nations- South Africa, New Zealand and came triumphant. We’ve recently got a Fijian coach and the team seems to perform really better under him. We plan to bring our team in the next 2-3 years in top 25. Rugby is a wonderful game to play and I am in love with it really. Q. How do you find time for books, between Rugby and movies? A. Its all about liking and wanting something. I am a book freak - reading one or the other all the time! I squeeze out time in my busy schedule essentially for books. I can’t do without them.

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