Free Press Journal

Books: Nidhi Dalmia ’60s were a time of extraordinary cultural, social, political change’


New Delhi: The author of a romantic fiction that transports readers to the late 1960s sixties and subtly captures the little nuances of the time has said that 60s was an era of extraordinary cultural, social, political change.

“I grew up in the 1960s. It was a time of extraordinary cultural, social, political change. What was refreshing about it was how pervasive it was. There was hope for the world and this time it would last. We would make it last. My debut novel had to be about this magical and charmed time which coincided with my teen years,” Nidhi Dalmia, the author of just released book “Harp” told IANS in an email.

He said that the contemporary times have seen many aspects of life take a turn for the worse despite (and in some cases because of) technological leaps.

“Definitions of nationalism and identity have become narrower instead of universal as in the late 60’s, when the search for spirituality had become part of the zeitgeist. Climate change without adequate steps for its redressal, the pursuit of unbridled consumption as an end in itself, demagogues exploiting fear and populism are part of current times,” added the high-profile alumni of St. Stephen college, Delhi, Oxford University, the Sorbonne and Harvard Business School.

“Harp” is romantic fiction that transports one to the late sixties and all the changes taking place then. It revolves around its three young characters; Ashok, Lauren and Aparna, their emotional voyages and how their lives intertwine with each other.

“Human nature won’t change. You could still fall in love at first sight; meet the love of your life. The romantics will not lose romance but the backdrop for the play would be this harsher one,” he shared.

The book is replete with lucid accounts of human emotions — of pain, love and joy — and how the characters, like the normal people in real life, deal with them.

“There was no decision to focus on emotions. But I did want the reader to understand what the protagonists were going through, how they felt, what it was like to be in those situations and how in turn that shaped the narrative,” Dalmia, who is an industrialist by profession recalled.

He expects his readers to try and live life in such a way that there are no regrets, to understand that if it has to be, it is better to have loved and lost than not to have loved at all.